Many advance critics were suggesting that the one phrase to describe the Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow summer super comedy should be “feminist gold”. Finally, everyone’s favorite snarky lady comic had her moment on the silver screen. If I had to pick one phrase, it would be “long”.
When I walked into the theater, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hoped it would be a laugh-a-minute affair that did something new with the not-quite-dead romantic comedy genre. What I got was a lot of Amy being Amy-lite, and a PG-13 story about a 30 something just trying to be herself. The plot combines most of the classic rom-com beats in a somewhat meandering story that allows Schumer and the cast to showcase their sketch chops. Girl with commitment issues meets guy with stable life. Girl and Guy fall in “like.” Shit happens. They end up together.
The classic structure is entirely gender inverted in that it’s the girl (not the guy) with commitment issues, the girl with family baggage and the girl who does the amazing stunt at the end to get her guy back. All in all, it was a fun watch, even with the multiple B, C, D, and E plots. Given that this was Schumer’s first pass at a feature film, I felt like I got my money’s worth. The narrative issues are compensated for by Schumer’s character work as a protagonist who also happens to be named Amy.
Movie Amy is a messy, loud, flawed woman who finds herself stifled by “the way we do things”. Willing to buck the system in some ways, and unable in others, Amy is reacting to a power-tripping boss, daddy issues, and a general lack of knowing what she wants. She is not an archetype of feminism. She’s not a bad girl. She’s not even a very strong person. The character is raw and human which is refreshing for a rom-com lady. This unfinished protagonist has an honest journey from being alone to not being alone.
Its not a complicated journey that will change how you view relationships. But it’s honest and mostly entertaining. Ending up happy, with a guy, is not a traditional feminist’s brand of female empowerment, but it is the place where Schumer’s intensely imperfect main character ended up. I didn’t get the feeling that Amy’s growth was finished by the end, which at least gives you something to think about on the way out of the theater.
Movie Amy isn’t some kind of feminist archetype. She’s a person who gets to make her own choices and deal. Real Life Schumer’s comedy is about bending stereotypes and breaking molds. In this particular case, she chose to bend a character and leave her ultimately and honestly unpolished, rather than attempt to reinvent the genre typical, “everything is fine now” ending, which is inherently fraught with problems.
About Our Rating System: The Loresworn Order reviews games, movies, TV, books, and music on a four-point scale.
- No Medal, “Not Recommended”
- Bronze, “Okay”
- Silver, “Good!”
- Gold, “Great!”