(Warning: This post contains spoilers.)
I still love you, I’ll just need a little time to get used to the new you.
No, Amy Schumer is not a buddy of mine; she just plays one on TV. Her characters on “Inside Amy Schumer” have a way of pointing out, like a close friend might, that you should accept that compliment already or that it’s way past time to get over your ex.
Through her stand-up and her Comedy Central show, Schumer has created a persona that resembles your slutty girlfriend who’s totally comfortable with her body and what she does with it, while also being a touch insecure. She can be petty and narcissistic, but aren’t we all at times? She’s deep, too: She calls out sexism and rape culture all while being funny and feminist. As a prank, she might sext your husband from your phone when you’re not looking. With her, nothing is TMI and everything ends in a punchline.
You know who I’m talking about. We all have those friends, at times have been that friend, or desperately need that friend.
In “Trainwreck,” which Schumer wrote and stars in, Schumer plays a magazine journalist, also named Amy. But that friend who was so good at commiserating over the woes of single life went off and found herself a boyfriend, a sports doctor named Aaron (played by Bill Hader). He’s a nice guy with cool friends (LeBron James) and courtside seats, but overall he comes off as the guy you settle for, not the one you fall in love with. For the fans of Schumer’s other work, her shift into monogamy feels a bit sudden. What happened?
A rom-com happened: a movie where a character’s messy love life is sorted out in two hours, with some good, hearty laughs along the way. On the surface, that’s just fine. That’s what viewers (myself included) go to rom-coms for: a movie that’s fun, funny and doesn’t require too much work to watch and understand.
But in the rom-com polishing of Schumer’s shtick, we lose that slutty, crazy friend we were just getting to know and love. (And don’t worry, she’s okay being called slutty. This is the friend who owns her promiscuity. Or at least is trying really hard to.)
That’s the Schumer we get to see on Comedy Central and in her stand-up. It’s also who she plays at the beginning of “Trainwreck” — the girl whose father makes her and her sister repeat “Monogamy isn’t realistic” as he explains why he’s divorcing their mother. That girl grows into a woman who’s very skilled at sleeping around but not getting attached: She faux-falls asleep before she can reciprocate, has a no-sleepover rule and has to coach another guy in how to talk dirty. She’s having a lot of fun, but clearly she’s kind of a mess.
In the process of cleaning up her act — throwing out the bottles of booze, chucking the weed and learning to be monogamous — Schumer loses her edge. She begins to look more like the woman who’s about to plan a wedding. And we’ve fallen for the one who obsessively plans breakups.
There are moments of the edgy Amy in “Trainwreck.” She can tell a mean tampon joke or reminisce from her old days of sleeping around. Enough to make you say: Ah yeah, that’s the friend I know and love.
For more time with her, we’ll keep watching Comedy Central rather than “Trainwreck” on repeat. Maybe by the time Schumer’s next blockbuster comes out, we’ll get used to Amy the Monogamist. For now, though, she doesn’t feel all that realistic.