Gender Roles - Women
Gender Roles - Men
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Language and Sexual Content
Gender Roles - Women: 3.5 Stars
Amy is nothing like a typical love-starved leading lady. She has her choice of a number of attractive men who come in and out of her life, but she clearly prefers the energy and freedom of being single. If Trainwreck can be classified as a romantic comedy, it succeeds in completely reversing traditional gender roles. The men that Amy dates seem to be the ones who are looking for something stable and secure, whereas Amy is both hesitant and afraid of finding herself in a real relationship. She is often witty and blunt, sometimes to the point of being careless with other people's feelings. But if anything, Trainwreck shows us that it's just as easy to love an aggressive, opinionated woman, as it is to love an aggressive, opinionated man.
Gender Roles - Men: 3 Stars
Trainwreck includes a somewhat unconventional male lead as well. Aaron is neither strikingly handsome nor intimidatingly confident, but comes across more like the nice guy that women tend to overlook. He is still a brilliant surgeon with a successful career, which places him a cut above his peers, but he doesn't have the universal sex appeal that we might expect to find in romantic comedies. From the beginning, Trainwreck sets out to make this a love story that is actually about love, rather than superficialities. Two people who are less than perfect, each with their own quirks and flaws, finding comfort in each other's company based on personality and caring.
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 4 Stars
For most of the movie, Amy is noticeably confident and self-assured - but more importantly, her self-esteem doesn't seem to stem from her trysts with random guys. It comes from her raw sense of humor and her ability to adapt and take care of herself. There is one scene near the end of the film where Amy does break down and even suggests that the bold character she plays is just a way of covering up some deep insecurities. But rather than diminishing the confidence we've come to expect from her, this scene only makes Amy a more complex, three-dimensional character. It shows us that she's a real, honest woman, subject to the same bouts of self-doubt and occasional heartache as the rest of us.
In terms of body image, Amy certainly isn't as thin or polished as most leading ladies. But her weight and appearance never make a large impact on the dialogue or the story. We never see her fretting about the size of her jeans or counting calories. She's comfortable in her own skin and maintains a healthy social life and healthy sex life just the way she is. It's a rare film that can not only cast a woman like Amy as the star, but do so as if it's the most natural thing in the world, never bothering to drop a line of excuse or justification or trying to turn her into something that she's not.
Character Development: 5 Stars
Trainwreck may be a comedy, but the film takes the time to give us the full flavor of Amy's personality. Between the warm and awkward moments she spends with her father and the equally heartfelt but complicated interactions with her sister, we're able to better understand who Amy is and the influences that have shaped her attitudes towards romance and family. In many ways, these moments are far more real and engaging than her surface-level interactions with Aaron. We may not get a clear idea of what Amy wants out of life or where her decisions are taking her, but in a way, Amy doesn't have much insight into this either. This vagueness only completes the snapshot of her life at this moment, when she is transitioning from a more simple, selfish version of herself into someone who's striving to be just a little bit better.
Language and Sexual Content: 5 Stars
Trainwreck is both upfront and unapologetic about the fact that women are sexual beings. It destroys the common mythology that women only seek sex in a way that is connected with love, marriage or family. To the contrary, Trainwreck tells us that women's interest in sex can be purely physical, recreational and even selfish, with little concern for the thoughts and emotions of sexual partners. In addition, Trainwreck doesn't shy away from the more intimate details of sex itself, reminding men that women experience pleasure in different ways and often require more attention in certain areas than in others.
Room for Improvement:
Plot: 2.5 Stars
Trainwreck has a uniquely colorful cast of characters that keeps us entertained despite the vanilla plotline. Amy doesn't have any concrete goals to achieve and never makes herself into much of a hero (even when it comes to decisions about her father's long-term care), but she is eventually able to establish herself as a more serious writer and to overcome some of her discomfort over true intimacy.
Amy Townsend is a crude and funny writer for a popular men's magazine. She parties hard and plays the field, but her loose and reckless lifestyle takes a sudden turn when she meets Aaron, a sports surgeon who is the subject of her latest assignment. Despite her checkered history with men, Aaron could turn out to be just the right kind of nice guy for Amy, if she can only get over her fear of commitment and of falling in love.
Kelly is a labor law