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Opinion: Amy Schumer rises to top of comedy food chain with ‘Trainwreck’

She just hosted the MTV Movie Awards and was named to the 2015 Time 100 most influential people in the world list. Her television show premieres Tuesday and her movie comes out in July. Needless to say, Amy Schumer, and her trademark sense of blunt-force humor, is spreading across the U.S. like a ravenous wildfire.

Before she starts the likely talk show appearance marathon to promote the third season of Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer,” the actress-screenwriter stopped by Ohio State for an advanced screening of her upcoming movie, “Trainwreck.”

The screening at the Gateway Film Center was preceded by a Q&A with Schumer, where she fielded questions ranging from her experiences in writing the film to her biggest diva moment since becoming a celebrity.

Schumer’s rise to fame can be attributed to her appearance on “Last Comic Standing,” as well as Comedy Central roasts. Since then, she has written and starred in the outrageously funny, and occasionally bizarre, sketch comedy show “Inside Amy Schumer.” While Schumer does play a piece of herself in her feature film debut, fans of her previous work might be in for a bit of a surprise with the drama-peppered romantic comedy.

In “Trainwreck,” Schumer plays a party-loving journalist, also named Amy. When not waking up in a random bed in Staten Island or taking the more-than-occasional toke, Amy is fighting for a promotion at the Manhattan men’s magazine where she works.

The profile to which she is assigned is that of a rising sports doctor, played by “Saturday Night Live” vet Bill Hader. Much of the drama early on in the film story comes Schumer’s constant fighting with her polar-opposite sister on what to do with their cantankerous-wheelchair ridden father.

“The scenes where I am fighting sister were especially taxing” Schumer said in a Friday interview with The Lantern. “I am really close to her and it was hard.”

While still flaunting an awkward sex scene with John Cena as well as a “Manhattan”-homage/parody sequence, “Trainwreck” actually makes an effort to be grounded in reality. This endeavor in portraying a relatable story with more realistic characters is perhaps the biggest difference between Schumer’s first film and her semi-surreal show.

“We actually had scenes on ‘Trainwreck’ which were magic-realism and a little sci-fi, but we ended up not using them,” Schumer said. “For it to be more grounded in reality, it’s better to have someone’s head not explode.”

Schumer’s partner-in-crime on the project was comedy mogul Judd Apatow, who produced and directed the film. While Schumer is a newcomer to the silver screen, Apatow is on the opposite side of the spectrum in being perhaps the most influential comic filmmaker since John Hughes or Woody Allen.

Apatow has established his voice through over the past decade in creating the bromance with Seth Rogen, and then later helping foster female-driven comedies such as “Bridesmaids” and “Girls.” Yet with “Trainwreck,” Schumer said that Apatow wanted to let her own brand of comedy to shine through the film.

“He really wanted my voice to come through in this movie” Schumer said of the collaboration with the Apatow on his fifth-directed feature. “I had never written a movie before, so I was very open in listening to his thoughts. I think you can really tell in watching it that it’s both an Apatow/Schumer joint.”

While Schumer and Apatow make for a killer combination behind the camera, the movie’s cast is equally impressive, featuring a litany of “Saturday Night Live” players, as well as Academy Award-winner Tilda Swinton and 4-time NBA MVP Lebron James.

“The King” plays a more sensitive version of himself, as he helps his doctor/friend through his relationship troubles by comparing Hader’s relationship with Amy to his back-and-forth affinity with the city of Cleveland.

While you’ll be able to catch the season three premiere of “Inside Amy Schumer” next week, you’ll have to wait until July 17 to see “Trainwreck.” However, I would mark the film’s release on your calendar as the film presents a nice change-of-pace from the high-octane actioners that are now typical summer movie fare.

“Trainwreck” is a showcase — plain and simple. Schumer gets to show the audience that she can play funny, sad and romantic. On the other side of that coin, she is sending a message to the entertainment world that she has arrived, and that the likes of Ferrell, Fey, and Rogen better set a seat for her at the table.

“I want to do so much more” Schumer said. “The stuff I am working on will show a whole new side of me. I’ve got a lot left to do.”


One comment

  1. Another foul mouthed female that is supposed to make us laugh…boring.

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