Without a doubt, one of the most prominent female voices in Hollywood right now is Amy Schumer. If you’re not familiar, she was on NBC’s Last Comic Standing back in 2007 and is currently writing and starring in her own show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer. The show features humor that’s not exactly PG and focuses largely on sexism in Hollywood, the workplace and overall issues that most women face in their every day lives. Her latest project is a full-length film titled Trainwreck, which I would describe as a laugh-so-hard-you-cry romantic comedy. The film follows the same type of humor that Schumer displays on her show and she’s actually been quoted saying that the movie is somewhat autobiographical. There has been slight debate over whether the film falls under the rom-com category and having seen the movie quite recently, I can confidently say that it does. However, this is not a bad thing. There always seems to be this negative feeling implied whenever someone describes a movie as a romantic comedy – it’s almost as if people assume that it can’t actually be a good movie. Sure, romantic comedies are generally targeted towards women and, I’ll admit, that most men probably wouldn’t enjoy many of them; but I don’t think this is the case with Trainwreck.
Schumer described the movie as the narrative of “a modern girl who does what she wants”. It is a romantic comedy – but it’s a romantic comedy filtered through the eyes of Amy Schumer. Her character, almost ironically, is like the guy in most other romantic comedies; she drinks heavily, smokes pot, stays out late and doesn’t take life too seriously. Her romantic interest in the film, Bill Hader, is a well-mannered sports doctor who might be the exact opposite of Schumer’s character. Trainwreck seems to have an underlying message that it’s completely okay to do what you want in life, regardless of whether it fits the standards of society’s norm. It speaks to women in a way that most romantic comedies do not. It embraces freedom and being who you are and I think that is one of the most important messages women should be receiving right now.
I should also point out that not only did Schumer star in the film, but she also wrote it. With witty dialogue and quick punch lines from start to finish, I would be shocked if there was a person out there who is not impressed with the screenplay Schumer wrote. Even if they are not necessarily impressed with the type of movie she made, it is almost impossible to deny that the writing behind the film is nothing short of genius.
If you’re wondering the reason I think this rom-com was more successful than others, I truly believe it’s because a woman wrote it. Generally speaking, romantic stories seen through the eyes of women are more entertaining (and often more accurate) than those written by men. One of the other successful romantic comedies we’ve seen in the past few years is Bridesmaids, which was written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. We see the story through the eyes of a woman and, much like Trainwreck, more women are able to relate to this type of story. We don’t just see a celebrity acting out a character on screen; we actually see a little bit of ourselves.
This is not to say that all romantic comedies written by men are bad and inaccurate. I would argue anyone who tried to tell me The Notebook didn’t have a good screenplay. But it is worth taking note that maybe putting women behind the pen when it comes to writing screenplays (particularly in the romantic comedy genre) is not only a smart move, but also the right one.