Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mini movie reviews: Trainwreck and Sleeping with Other People

I'm not generally one for romantic/sex comedies/dramedies so it is a little surprising to me that I ended up watching not one but two this weekend:  Amy Schumer's Trainwreck and Alison Brie/Jason Sudeikis's Sleeping with Other People.  In the interest of full disclosure: I watched the whole of Trainwreck but my faulty Netflix DVD of SwOP crapped out on me with about twenty minutes to go - on the plus side, I can't spoil the ending for anyone!

I thought Trainwreck was a hoot.  Amy Schumer plays a hard-drinking NYC working girl who took her philandering father's life lessons to heart and cannot commit to a monogamous relationship.  Even when her would-be steady guy is played by John Cena (DAAAAAAMN).  She parties hard and picks up dudes as she likes and - other than the sheer numbers of partners - has a very healthy sex life.  She knows what she wants and what she wants, in part, is for the guy to not sleep over.  Amy works for a Cosmo-like magazine and is assigned to do an article on this young orthopaedic surgeon to the pro sports stars, played by Bill Hader.  Since this is a rom-com, these two mismatched people fall for each other, break up and ultimately get back together.  But as written by Schumer, whose Inside Amy Schumer I like a lot, with the gender roles upended, the traditional formula doesn't seem so traditional.  With strong supporting players - Brie Larson as Amy's long-suffering, more stable little sister, Colin Quinn as their aging, ailing dad and scene-stealer Lebron James - Trainwreck is both funny, sweet and fun.

I went into Sleeping with Other People with some confusion: I thought it was going to be a slightly darker take on a rom-com.  And I guess that technically it is but it is much less light-hearted and comic than I presumed.  Alison Brie's Lainie and Jason Sudeikis's Jake first meet in college, where they lose their virginities to each other.  A decade+ later, they reconnect in NYC, each with their own sexual issues:  Jake cannot commit, with a never-ending parade of women traipsing in and out of his bed; Lainie is hung up on this total dweeb of a guy (a nearly-unrecognizable Adam Scott) who is about to marry someone who isn't her.  Jake and Lainie become best friends, speaking honestly to each other, supporting each other and basically becoming a couple - except that they don't have sex with each other.  (I assume they end up with each other in the end? Anyone?)  Brie and Sudeikis have fantastic chemistry and there are very funny moments, but overall I found the tone of SwOP to be a little sad.  Other reviewers thought it was pretty terrific - you should decide for yourself.


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