SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: AMY SCHUMER, BILL HADER, TILDA SWINTON, BRIE LARSON, LEBRON JAMES, JOHN CENA, COLIN QUINN, MIKE BIRBIGLIA, EVAN BRINKMAN, EZRA MILLER, RANDALL PARK, VANESSA BAYER, JON
GLASER, METHOD MAN, DANIEL RADCLIFFE, MARISA TOMEI, MARV ALBERT, CHRIS EVERT, MATTHEW BRODERICK & AMAR’E STOUDEMIRERUNNING TIME: 2 HR 5 MINS
DIRECTOR: JUDD APATOW
Amy Schumer joins the likes of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in being the latest female comedy sensation from America – and on the evidence of her first movie she could just be the best at what she does.
The genius of her first starring vehicle is that it isn’t just a consistent comedy – but is equally adept at the emotional switch it makes for the finale.
Schumer might be a bit too crude and near-the-knuckle for some tastes – taking it to the next level in the foul-mouthed stakes – but gets it spot-on as the thirty-something clubbing their life away due to the fear of commitment.
That makes her the perfect fit, not only for The 40-Year-Old Virgin director Judd Apatow – who arguably pieces together his best work since 2007’s Knocked Up – but also her collaboration with fellow Saturday Night Live regular and co-star Bill Hader (Superbad and current voice of Fear in Inside Out), as they effortlessly bounce their different comedic styles off each other.
With Amy (Schumer) – along with her little sister Kim (21 Jump Street’s Brie Larson) – having it drilled into her that being faithful in marriage isn’t possible by her rogue of a father Gordon (Colin Quinn), this has turned her into a commitment-phobic partying-to-the-early-hours career woman, who isn’t afraid of a one-night stand – in fact, many of them.
But when Amy’s boss (The Beach’s Tilda Swinton) at a tabloid-type magazine gives her a new journalistic assignment, she finds herself falling for the subject of a new article – up-and-coming sports physicist Aaron (Hader) – which may just take Amy out of the rut she’s in, and make her face her fears.
Great support comes in many unexpected forms, from the already mentioned Hader, Quinn, Larson and Swinton, her work colleagues – including The Interview’s Randall Park, hapless pal Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) and soon-to-be The Flash in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Ezra Miller – and surprisingly eyebrow-raising turns from both WWE legend John Cena, and particularly top Cleveland Cavaliers NBA superstar LeBron James (which may have just got him the Space Jam 2 gig).
Throw in a hilarious movie (which Schumer watches on a date with Cena) from dog-walker Daniel Radcliffe and a flighty Marisa Tomei – which is another nice touch that really sets the tone for the entirety – then you’ve got a film that is consistently funnier than recent yardsticks such as Bridemaids.
The change of pace, when the inevitable explosive break-up happens two-thirds through, seems like it could take it into stereotypical rom-com territory – but again, this is handled in such a endearing way that you can’t help but find it likeable.
In the end you root for the leading couple as they try and ‘find’ themselves, and even though there’s one or two pacing issues, this is the complete opposite of the film’s title.
This girl’s a natural, and she’s gonna be a star... making this undoubtedly the best comedy of the summer by a country mile.
Read more... Film review: The Gift (15)