Review by Anthony Tyson 7/29/15
Going into this movie, I'll be honest; I had no idea who Amy Schumer was. All I knew was that it was a Judd Apatow comedy featuring Schumer and Bill Hader, in what seemed like a more adult rom-com. I was interested, but only because it looked like it had a lot of really great comedic moments that would be featured. I did have a bit of an assumption that the romantic part of this rom-com would be downplayed, while the comedic aspect would be focused on heavier. This was not necessarily the case unfortunately.
The main difficulty I had with the movie was that the focus did end up more about creating a romantic dynamic between the two main characters. Normally this is a boon, as focusing on what makes the characters tick, and what they mean to each other usually means a more cohesive story overall. It didn't necessarily work here however, as there was so much time focused on their relationship and you don’t really care, largely due to the type of character Amy plays. Amy’s character starts off as kind of a terrible person honestly, and sometimes I found myself kind of wishing Bill Hader’s character would just get out of it. This is not to be though, and the movie goes about in the third act of performing the tired trope of getting the two back together after a bad argument. A big moment of affectionate display, they make up, Amy’s character fixes her “problems”, and everyone comes out happy. It's just really cliche at this point.
Bill Hader and Amy Schumer are also more than serviceable in their comedic timing, but ultimately they were not the people that were very memorable to me. The best aspects of this movie are undoubtedly the supporting cast. The side characters with quick quips, Tilda Swinton and her hilarious (yet very awful in a way) impression of a Devil Wears Prada head editor, John Cena’s slightly homo-erotic bodybuilder, Daniel Radcliffe in his very meta "dog walker" role, and Matthew Broderick in his quick cameo are all spectacular. This also leads me to my biggest surprise and almost shocking admission: Lebron James. He was freaking stellar in his role here. While not having any acting chops to speak of, he easily had some of the most memorable lines in the movie, and he is ultimately what I remembered most leaving the theater.
Overall, Amy Schumer’s first starring role in a major movie is not the best comedy performance this year, but it’s still a fun time at the end of the day. It’s good for a quick and fun date night movie, especially with some drinks in hand. Though it does have some slower moments in its final act, its comedy is good overall. It’s just a very good reminder that a more focused attempt on comedy, or romance, can really lead to the success or failure of a movie.
Worth a rent, or a date-night at the movies for couples.
P.S. I saw this movie a few nights ago with my girlfriend at the Alamo Drafthouse. I'm in no way sponsored by them, but I think I had the best White Russian I have ever had there. Please check them out! They have amazing service and excellent drinks.