Tag: romcom

Movie Review: Trainwreck (2015)

Posted August 22, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Movie-Comedy / 2 Comments

Trainwreck-posterTitle: Trainwreck
Released: 2015
Director:
 Judd Apatow
Stars: Amy SchumerBill HaderTilda Swinton
Genre: Comedy

The latest romantic comedy from Judd Apatow is something completely different and will hopefully shake up Hollywood a little. In his last movie. Apatow took on the story of life after 40, in the movie This Is 40, which starred Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. While Judd Apatow’s movies are problematic when he directs a movie, I often get the sense he wants to take on some real issues. Both The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up had some positives messages hidden behind all the cheap gags and as for Funny People, well it was a little forgettable so I could not tell you what the message was with that movie.

Trainwreck was the first movie that Judd Apatow directed that he did not write, with the exception on The 40-Year-Old Virgin which he co-wrote with Steve Carrell. This time the screenplay was written by the lead Amy Schumer. Schumer has been taking the comedy world by storm, after first appearing on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in its fifth season; where she placed fourth. Now she has her own hit show, Inside Amy Schumer as well as being a critically acclaimed stand-up comedian.

In Trainwreck Amy Schumer plays a journalist named Amy working for a men’s magazine S’Nuff. She was brought up to believe that monogamy was not realistic and now Amy spends most nights getting drunk, stoned and getting laid, despite the fact that she is dating a gym junkie (played by pro-wrestler John Cena). She is assigned by her boss (Tilda Swinton) to write an article on a sports doctor named Aaron (Bill Hader) despite the fact the fact she believes sports is not intellectual enough to be interesting. The film continues on the very formulaic romantic comedy path after this.

What I loved about this movie is the way Amy Schumer took the same formula and reversed the gender roles. While this is a boring plot line, the idea of taking the outdated clichés of the dating world and shaking it on its head is very refreshing. The movie does not stop there; there are even slight nods to penicil movies in this genre, including a blowjob scene in shot in the famous location found in the Woody Allen movie Manhattan. If I was a better film critic I would be able to pick up on all the homages made within the movie; one day I hope to be able to do so.

I had a lot of fun watching this movie and I think the stand out performance should go to John Cena for his portrayal of a homoerotic meathead. I did see was more of John Cena than I would like but thankfully his penis was still able to say his catch phrase “You can’t see me”. Even though the formula to Trainwreck is the same old plot, there is still something very true about the movie. I cannot criticise the plot because I have been in the same boat as Amy. Hopefully this is one step closer to a change in Hollywood; Trainwreck has been positively received but only time will tell.


Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Posted October 17, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Young Adult / 0 Comments

Boy Meets Boy by David LevithanTitle: Boy Meets Boy (Goodreads)
Author: David Levithan
Published: Harper Collins, 2003
Pages: 223
Genres: Young Adult
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Paul is a sophomore in a high school unlike any other. He meets Noah, and thinks he is the one, the person he will spend the rest of his life with. That was until he blew it, the school bookie has the odds 12 to 1 against him. But Paul is determined to not let this get him down; he knows what he wants and will go after it.

This is your typical romantic comedy done in a different way. I want to talk about the world first; in this utopian world sexuality is not an issue. Even in the high school, the homecoming queen is also the quarterback (Her name Infinite Darlene, but her parents called her Daryl) and every click is divided into gay stereotype, except for the straight people who seem to be bunched into an (almost outcast) group. The school has a gay-straight alliance which was formed to teach the straight people to dance. Everything is too perfect; no one struggled with their sexuality or identity.

I’m not sure if it is just me improving as a reader but I spent most of this novel questioning everything and not enjoying the clichés and ease of these people’s lives. No one seemed to have any major issues and for a high school that seems too fake; this is why I’m convinced they live in the utopian world where everything is perfect. These students are highly intelligent and seem to have everything worked out, the only struggles they have are the ones needed to drive the typical romcom plot.

My first experience with David Levithan was his co-written novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green and while I enjoyed that book enough to try his novels there was just too much that bothered me about this one. I’m assuming this is bad news for any other John Green books that I might read, their styles are very similar but I just couldn’t get past of the unanswered questions that I asked.

I’m glad there are romantic comedies between two guys and I think more GSM (Gender and/or sexual minority or LGBT if you prefer) novels are needed. I just don’t like that no one seems to have real struggles; I want this in all characters. I never expect a teenager in particular to have everything worked out and with their budding sexuality there are so many complex emotions that could be dealt with in a book like this.

One other thing that really bothered me in this book was the excess of nods. I began to think of all the characters as bobble heads rather than humans. It is like excess winking in novels, no human nods or winks that much in real life, why do they do it in books? I know with nodding it is just a way to show that a character agrees but if it is used too much it just feels too unrealistic.

This is an entertaining book that I just had too many issues with, not enough to never try Levithan again (still want to read Two Boys Kissing) but it really bothered me. I know many people loved this book and his style still feels similar to John Green, so I think it’s just me. I will love to know what worked or didn’t work for the people that have read this book. I don’t think I’m missing anything, so why is this much loved YA novel so difficult to enjoy.