CINEMA: Truly, Madly Amy




Comedian Amy Schumer is — by her own admission — an oversharer. Whether she’s talking about one-night stands or drinking habits, she has a tendency to bare all. In 2011, Schumer’s blend of honesty and humor caught the attention of director Judd Apatow, who heard her being interviewed on the radio by Howard Stern. “She was telling stories about her relationships and also stories about her dad, who has multiple sclerosis … and the stories were very dark and sad, but … they were really funny and warm at the same time,” Apatow tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I remember sitting in the car thinking, ‘This is a hilarious stand-up comedian, and I don’t think she understands what a great storyteller she is.’ ” Apatow contacted Schumer and the two went on to collaborate on the screenplay for Trainwreck. In the film, which Apatow directed, Schumer plays a single woman who doesn’t want to commit to a relationship. It’s a role that resonates with the comedian. “I’ve always had this major fear of having my heart very broken,” she tells Gross. “I’ve mostly been in long-term relationships, but I think I’ve never really given myself over to them for the fear of being hurt.” Schumer’s character in Trainwreck has a sister who is married and has one child and another on the way. The sisters struggle to see eye-to-eye on relationships, raising a family and how to care for their ailing father. The sisters’ relationship is similar to Amy’s relationship with her real life younger sister, Kim Caramele. Caramele left a job as a school psychologist in Chicago to work as a producer and writer on the Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. Apatow and Schumer talk with Gross about their collaboration on Trainwreck, and — if you listen to the audio above — at the end you can hear Caramele talk about what it was like to watch herself portrayed onscreen. MORE

DAVID EDELSTEIN: If you’re an Amy Schumer lover (and if you’re not, you might as well stop reading because never our twain shall meet), you’ll be ecstatic to see her strut her stuff on the big screen in the mostly (about four-fifths) delightful sex comedy Trainwreck — and maybe a tad disappointed when the playbook turns out not to be entirely hers. Schumer has cast herself as Amy, a magazine journalist who routinely gets blotto, has sex with rafts of men, and dodges her lovers’ pleas for commitment — her worldview having been shaped by a dad (Colin Quinn) who, shortly before decamping, counseled her and her younger sister against “unrealistic” monogamy. Her character’s confident sexuality might surprise fans of her TV show, Inside Amy Schumer, in which the sketches often bloom from Schumer’s (or her onscreen alter ego’s) doubts about her hotness — doubts that drive home the grotesqueness of a culture that forces women to see themselves through the eyes of men. Nothing in Trainwreck is as boundary-bursting, but it’s fun to see Schumer when she’s not weighed down by body shame. She wriggles through the movie in short, tight dresses with plunging necklines, buoyant even when blitzed. She’s the hot girl here; she doesn’t trainwreckjust get dweebs. Her most ardent lover — played with wonderful dopey sweetness by the wrestling superstar John Cena — has muscles on top of muscles and is cut like the Grand Canyon. But Amy’s giddiness in the sack yields quickly to jitters. Approximately one second after orgasm, her eyes seek out an exit. She’s edgy about being breathed on.

The man who might save Amy from the unbearable tightness of being is the subject of her next magazine profile: Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), knee surgeon for superstar athletes, a Doctor Without Borders, and a study in non-virility. Hader plays the role as a human forehead. His voice is all treble, with no evident vibrations below the neck. At first, he and Schumer have one of those magical non-rapport rapports that are the province of gifted improv comedians: His lean frame seems to spring back from her soft curves. Slowly, though, Amy teases Aaron to the surface while Aaron forces Amy to slow down. One of the movie’s running gags is that the ultrawhite Aaron pals around with an exceedingly modest LeBron James (LeBron James), who warns Amy not to break the doctor’s fragile heart. Amy is suitably weirded out, and so the movie tiptoes into the requisite falling-in-love montage. So far, so fun. It’s too bad Schumer is playing a familiar character, though one that’s usually taken by men: the adult child whose gonzo behavior is appallingly funny at first, but who must learn that true happiness comes only by sobering up and embracing family values. In other words, it’s that damn Judd Apatow template.  MORE


INCOMING: The Revenant

This looks effing epic! Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker and Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel), THE REVENANT is inspired by the legendary explorer Hugh Glass. Look for it this Christmas.

RELATED: The story of Hugh Glass ranks as one of the most remarkable stories of survival in American history. So much so, that Hugh Glass became a legend in his own time. Little is actually known about Glass. It was said that he was a former pirate who gave up his life at sea to travel to the West as a scout and fur trapper. Exactly when is unknown. He is believed to have been born in Philadelphia around 1783.

He had already been in the Western wilderness for several years when he signed on for an expedition up the Missouri River in 1823 with the company of William Ashley and Andrew Henry. The expedition used long-boats similar to those used by Lewis and Clark 19 years earlier to ascend the Missouri as far as the Grand River near present-day Mobridge, SD. There Glass along with a small group of men led by Henry started overland toward Yellowstone.

At a point about 12 miles south of Lemmon, SD, now marked by a small monument, Glass surprised a grizzly bear and her two HughGlassBearAttackcubs while scouting for the party. He was away from the rest of the group at the time and the grizzly attacked him before he could fire his rifle. Using only his knife and bare hands, Glass wrestled the full-grown bear to the ground and killed it, but in the process he was badly mauled and bitten.

His companions, hearing his screams, arrived on the scene to see a bloody and badly maimed Glass barely alive and the bear lying on top of him. They shot the bear head and uncovered Glass’s mangled body. They bandaged his wounds the best they could and waited for him to die. The party was in a hurry to get to Yellowstone, so Henry asked for volunteers to stay until Glass was dead and then bury him. John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger agreed and immediately began digging the grave. But after three days Glass was still alive when Fitzgerald and Bridger began to panic as a band of hostile Indians was seen approaching. The two men picked up Glass’s rifle, knife and other equipment and dumped him into the open grave. They threw a bearskin over him and shoveled in a thin layer of dirt and leaves, leaving Glass for dead.

But Glass did not die. After an unknown time, he regained consciousness to a very grim situation. He was alone and unarmed in hostile Indian territory. He had a broken leg and his wounds were festering. His scalp was almost torn away and the flesh on his back had been ripped away so that his rib bones were exposed. The nearest help was 200 miles away at Ft. Kiowa. His only protection was the bearskin hide. MORE