Monday, November 9, 2015

Trainwreck, indeed...


Dh & I went to see Amy Schumer in "Trainwreck" a while back. I've never really liked her stand-up comedy specials on TV -- too crude & cringe-inducing for my tastes -- but I think her sketch work is brilliant, and while "Trainwreck" may be a tad raunchy for some tastes, we both enjoyed it hugely. There's a subplot involving grief and loss that I found quite touching and realistic. 

Anyway, it's coming out on DVD this week -- and I ran across an item on Facebook this morning from Entertainment Weekly that had me fuming.

(I'm generally a huge fan of Entertainment Weekly -- it's probably my favourite magazine, the one I would buy if I could only pick one. I actually still have the very first issue from 1990, with k.d. lang on the cover.) 

"Amy Schumer gets maternal in deleted ending scene from Trainwreck," the headline read, under a photo that showed Amy cuddling a sleeping baby. The copy above the item read, "This would have been an adorable ending for Amy Schumer's Trainwreck!"

Ummm, no -- no, it wouldn't. :p  For one thing, if you've seen the movie, you know that it would have been totally out of character for Amy (the movie character, if not Amy Schumer herself personally). For another, the original ending was happy and funny and perfect in itself.

Director Judd Apatow is quoted in the article saying, "It's always wise to shoot something with a baby. Who hates a movie that ends with a baby? Just Darth Vader.”

Well, call me Darth, I guess. :p  (Although let me be perfectly clear -- just because I dislike the idea of ending a movie -- and this movie in particular -- with a baby does NOT mean that I (or anyone else who gagged over this story) hate babies themselves -- there's a difference. :p )   I just get a bit weary seeing so frickin' many romantic comedies these days ending with a baby or a pregnancy. I mean, why???

Because in our pronatalist culture, happy ending = baby, baby = happy ending. It may be "wise" from a box office perspective, giving the people what they want (or, perhaps more like, what they've been conditioned to want, or expect). But it's an easy out -- it's mindless and it's lazy. It's what you do when you can't think of a more original way to end the movie (which Apatow actually did, in the end).  I think it's much more memorable when a movie doesn't turn out exactly the way you expected it would.

I felt slightly better when I actually watched the clip (after sending it off, along with a rant, to several childless/free friends). (SPOILER ALERT!)  It's not, in fact, Amy's baby (it's her niece), and she retains her trademark snark. ;) She stays true to her character.

And having watched the scene, I can see why they decided to scrap it and go with the ending they did -- adorable baby aside, it seems extraneous (lame, even) & really doesn't add much to our knowledge of the plot or characters. (There's an adoption joke in there too, which is kind of a cheap shot and which some may have found offensive.) Amy's voice-over narration rambles and kind of trails off -- I'm thinking it was probably ad-libbed. She doesn't sound that "into" it, which makes me wonder whose idea the alternate ending was -- hers or the director's?

But still. The fact that this scene was even filmed or considered as an ending to an otherwise delightful movie that bucks so many other stereotypes and plot conventions makes me realize how far we still have to go as a culture towards accepting the idea that there can be more than kind of happy ending -- that not all women are mothers (or can be mothers, or even want to be mothers), and that they can still lead happy and full and fulfilling lives, regardless.


  1. "Who hates a movie that ends with a baby? Just Darth Vader." Such an arrogant, privileged, and unthinking statement.

    I've always hated stereotypes too - so even if I'd had children, it would have annoyed me!

  2. Um... I didn't know I had so much in common with Darth Vader. I mean, beyond our love of all-black outfits.

    I missed Trainwreck in the theaters so I'm excited to see it on DVD.