Amy Schumer, American Hero

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amy Schumer had to recruit pitying strangers to zip her dress.

Amy Schumer just earned an impressive number of Emmy nominations for Inside Amy Schumer, but her comedy is actually pretty true to her life, she told Seth Meyers on Thursday’s Late Night. “It is pretty much the real me,” she said, and that can lead to some pretty embarrassing situations.The Emmy nominations on Thursday validated a number of raunchy and troubling performances by women in both comedy and drama – lending credence to the idea that likeability is no longer the key to success for female characters.Apart from being laugh-out-loud funny, a sure-fire test of the success of a comedy, Trainwreck leaves a few things to be desired – including the false advertising of the title.

The ones she recounted involved the fact that she lives by herself, and the standout story involves a dress. “I live alone, and I’m, like, super lonely,” Schumer began, flirting with the audience. Then there’s veteran Lily Tomlin, a six-time Emmy winner who pulls no punches as a feisty, sexually explicit woman in her 70s in Netflix’s new comedy “Grace and Frankie.” For audiences and critics who have longed to see female actors occupy the anti-hero space that has been so successful for TV’s men in recent years, the wait appears to be over. “For years, there’s been a huge problem for women, because female characters could not be perceived as being unlikeable,” said Mary McNamara, television critic for the Los Angeles Times. “Now we’re seeing that’s changing,” she added. “You can have women who are complicated, irritating, bad, who make stupid decisions, are raunchy. As written and played by red-hot comedian/Emmy nominee Amy Schumer, however, her constant need to keep lovers at an arm’s length — sometimes literally, in bed — is relatable. The movie, directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer, stays on the familiar rom-com rails throughout, if it takes a few raunchy detours. The other night, she said, she was trying to zip up a dress — “I’ve, like, gained weight, and I was, like, kind of lying to myself” — but she was determined so she went down to the street and had to “just wait for somebody that looked like they weren’t, like, a monster.” The women she found, Schumer said, cheerfully recognized her: “‘Amy Schumer,’ she said. ‘Oh, you really are, like, sad and lonely.'” It got worse when they needed to recruit a second passerby.

You’re seeing a deepening of the female character across the board.” Uzo Aduba knows something about that, as the woman who plays the deeply damaged “Crazy Eyes” in Netflix female prison saga “Orange Is The New Black” and last year won the Emmy for best guest actress in a comedy. With a lothario father who instilled in his daughters from an early age that “monogamy isn’t realistic,” 30-something Amy has spent her adulthood not only carrying around his emotional baggage, but adding new pieces to the set.

Schumer plays a Manhattan journalist for a men’s magazine called S’Nuff, who parties a lot, sleeps with a string of hot guys and tells us about it in a wry, dry voice-over. She was nominated again on Thursday, this time in the drama supporting actress category. “What I feel when I watch our show is that a collection of different types of people can actually be engaging to audiences, if the story is true and if it’s honest,” Aduba said. There were reported stories and anguished think pieces about how other female comedians have handled allegations that they had “gone too far,” about whether society holds funny women to far more stringent standards of propriety than funny men, and many others.

In a Hollywood long filled with laments over the lack of good parts for women, television gets higher marks than film for pushing the boundaries for females. “We had a meaningful increase in the number of women nominated in director and writing categories, a terrific amount of diversity in front of the camera, and in storytelling,” said Bruce Rosenblum, Television Academy chairman and CEO. A talented writer, she somehow winds up at a lowbrow men’s magazine, where story pitches include “Ugliest celebrity kids under 6.” Her boss (Tilda Swinton) is a bully.

As it happens, Schumer was also nominated for directing and writing her feminist satire, a no-holds-barred takedown of her ditzy, selfish, promiscuous self. “I wasn’t surprised given the amount of acclaim,” said Cynthia Littleton, managing editor of television for Variety. “That woman just has momentum on momentum.” In the process, he somehow thwarts his older daughter’s chance at future happiness until, after a period of growth, it all ends in cheers and kisses. Leonard passionately denounced Schumer in a way that, basically, threw all white people under the bus for enabling such comedy bits to gain traction in society: “Racial jokes allow white America to claim that race no longer matters, even as there’s talk whizzing in every direction about how blacks and Latinos are outbreeding whites, are criminals and welfare queens, are ‘stealing jobs’ and victimizing whites through affirmative action policies and denying them the right to use the N-word.

After getting high and drunk one too many times, she lets slip to her dumb Adonis of a boyfriend (John Cena), that he’s not the only rooster in the farmyard. Comedy allows these comforting ideas to be shared with a built-in defense mechanism that protects white innocence.” Comedy is not for the faint of heart, and it sure as heck isn’t for social-justice warriors. I should have just clicked away, but noooooooo, I fell for the 1-minute, 56-second accompanying video featuring a hit list of Schumer’s most appalling racist bits. More specifically, the compromise feels guided by Apatow, who is in something of a return to broadly popular form after such quasi-autobiographical films as This Is 40 and Funny People. Trainwreck is consistent with his shaggily constructed, raunchy-but-cute dramatic comedies that strive hard to be all things to all people, and it should probably be a smash.

Between the pressures of her job and dealing with her father, now stricken with multiple sclerosis and moving into an assisted living residence, it’s easier to follow the old game plan. After establishing Amy’s job world, an idiotic Maxim-style publication, and her use ’em and lose ’em attitude toward men, we get to the personal stuff. Along with her younger, happily married sister, Kim (Brie Larson), Amy is struggling to put her grumpy father, who now has advanced multiple sclerosis, into an expensive care facility. She could get a promotion by writing a take down on Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), a star sports-medicine doctor with a roster of elite athletes, including NBA stars LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Certainly fans of her Comedy Central television show, “Inside Amy Schumer” are accustomed to a brand of sketch comedy that includes a parody of “12 Angry Men” (the jurors debate whether the star is hot enough to be on TV) and an instant classic featuring Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette celebrating, well, that’s another R-rated story. As is her habit, Amy soon seduces the doctor (a shy type who hasn’t had sex in six years), and for the rest of the film’s running time they find reasons why they can’t be together before they inevitably are.

Citing the now-famous Schumer line “I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual,” Falcon wrote: “Schumer dutifully apologized for this racist joke about Hispanic men. However, as a fan of this creative and edgy performer, I was not offended by her joke since she regularly skewers everyone and exposes the ridiculousness of racial and sexual stereotypes. After their first night, the commitment-phobic Amy wonders why she has these uncomfortable new things called “emotions.” The instantly love-struck Aaron gets support from his sensitive big friend (LeBron James, as a Downton Abbey-loving romantic). As the straight man and occasional punching bag, Hader plays a slightly goofy saint who not only mends multimillion-dollar athletes but gets awards from Doctors Without Borders. It would be a shame to lose such a vital and fresh comedic voice.” If a well-respected Hispanic leader can get past one dig at his kind because he knows and appreciates this comedian’s full body of work, then bad on me for having been bamboozled into believing she’s a blond, blue-eyed racist based on one aggregated, context-free video clip.

And while we might occasionally be puzzled why he finds this hypercritical lush so appealing, his character is so impossibly nice that he compels her to see the issue is hers: “What’s wrong with you that you would want to go out with me?” she asks. If we want to know if Schumer is a racist or an equal-opportunity offender, we must do what at least one of the authors of that salacious Washington Post blog post reportedly failed to: Watch a great deal of Schumer’s stuff and then come to our own conclusions. The staff at S’Nuff are led by Tilda Swinton as an Anna Wintour-ish boss with a short temper and shorter attention span, urging her staff to “pitch her hard” with stories such as: “You’re not gay – she’s boring.” Swinton wears so much bronze makeup that, to steal a line from novelist Lorrie Moore, “she looks like an oxidization experiment.” There’s a great bit of physical comedy, too, when James and Hader play a game of one on one – though, given the height difference, it feels more like three on one. A scene where Schumer watches knee surgery works on a slow build, as the operation-room observation window is suddenly decorated with a splat of pea-green puke. A series of jokes about Amy’s muscle-bound boy toy (John Cena) and his poorly repressed homosexual urges, for instance, is more annoying than funny.

And one sequence that could be scratched altogether is an “intervention” involving various sports celebrities, including sportscaster Marv Albert, tennis great Chris Evert and, inexplicably, actor Matthew Broderick.

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