Sunday, July 26, 2015


    I first saw Amy Schumer on "Last Comic Standing" many years ago. She was pretty funny but she didn't win. That's how I feel about her new movie, pretty funny in spots but not a winner.

    In her first starring role, Ms. Schumer plays Amy, an alcoholic, promiscuous single girl in the city, not really looking for love. She is a writer for a tabloid magazine  run by the always wonderful, Tilda Swinton.  I don't think I've ever seen Ms. Swinton in such a loose, contemporary role and she is clearly having a blast as the crude head of the magazine.

    The film plays like an anti-romantic comedy with Ms. Schumer in a role reversal of the usual male part.  The first half of the film is a series of encounters that allow Ms. Schumer to sleep around and toss off great one-liners.  When she is assigned to write a story about a sports doctor played by Bill Hader, love hits her when she least expects it. Not knowing how to deal with this new emotion is the basis of the rest of the film.

     Mr. Hader is a terrific comedian but having him play the straight man is a complete bore. It may be right for the character but it's disappointing for the audience. The "actor" who steals the movie is LeBron James, playing himself as a close friend of Mr. Hader's. He is a natural and their scenes together are very funny.

      There is a subplot involving Amy's sick father, played by Colin Quinn and her sister, played by Brie Larson. Mr. Quinn basically plays himself, making Ms. Larson one of the few truly professional actors in the film and it shows. She has matured into a fine young actress who is always a pleasure to watch. Mike Birbiglia plays her husband and Evan Brinkman plays her stepson, Allister, in a role written for awkward laughs.

       There are some funny scenes throughout the overlong film but they are far and few between the awkward moments. Ms. Schumer's character is not likable. The "showstopper" at the finale made me what to scream "enough, make it stop". This is a film that will appeal to a very particular audience. Luckily for Ms, Schumer, she can always fall back on her very funny TV show.

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