Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LeBron Made Me Curious About 'Trainwreck', but It's John Cena That Surprised

Trainwreck is not the kind of movie I usually go see.  But I got intrigued of it because of LeBron James.  There were some praise being thrown regarding his performance, and it really got me curious.   I wanted to verify the hype.

The plot: after her reprobate father impressed on Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) as a young girl that monogamy isn’t realistic, she lives her life as an adult boozing, partying, getting high, and sleeping around – unwilling to have a serious commitment.  However, an assignment from her editor sends Amy to interview and meet Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a prolific doctor that treats the injuries of sports superstars.  Amy attempts to keep everything between them casual.  But as the two of them spend more time with each other, and grow liking each other more and more, Amy begins to consider if it’s time to leave her life of non-commitment behind and start cleaning up her act.

It’s a familiar rom-com premise.  But I actually found some freshness in it, too.  It does not have the smartest plot, but I found sprinkles of cleverness here and there.

And as for what I thought of LeBron James, who plays himself in this movie and the best pal of Dr. Conners… well, he actually did an okay job – actually better than any of Shaq’s acting roles.  But he wasn’t really hilarious – “hilarious” was the emphatic adjective that some positive reactions were using to commend his performance – nor terrific to finally win me over to the idea that a Space Jam 2 starring him would be great.

John Cena, however, is the surprise.  I’m not much of a fan, but he is phenomenally hilarious in this movie.  Even counting the early days when he was still in his likable “Doctor of Thuganomics” persona, this guy has never been this funny and appealing.  Sure, the writing deserves a good amount of the credit of making Cena’s character hilarious, but his delivery also contributed considerably.

Like Ted 2, this movie has a good deal of cameos.  But unlike Ted 2, its cameos work well, and aren’t annoyingly gratuitous.  The scenes with Marv Albert and Amar’e Stoudemire are pretty funny.

Actually, come to think of it, Trainwreck’s ensemble – both cast members and cameos – generally did a fine job.  No one was terribly out of place in the movie.  And, worth noting that, once again, I had found Tilda Swinton unrecognizable and it surprised me that she was playing that character in the movie.

Trainwreck isn’t great, but I had some fun with it.  It’s a solid rom-com movie that both lovers and haters of the genre will find entertaining and somewhat thoughtful.

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