Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Written & Directed by Nancy Meyers

Where & When: Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, CA, September 26, 2015  5:45PM

"The Intern" is the latest sleek and impeccably designed romantic comedy by writer/director Nancy Meyers. Starting with "Private Benjamin", the fish-out-of-water Goldie Hawn hit comedy she co-wrote with Charles Shyer, her former husband back in 1980 to her directorial debut with the remake of "The Parent Trap" (which helped put the teenage Lindsay Lohan on the map), Meyers has used her gifts and hard-earned clout to make warm, engaging but overly glossy films that places strong female characters front and center. With "Baby Boom", "Something's Gotta Give", "What Women Want" and "It's Complicated", the director gave Oscar-winners, Diane Keaton, Helen Hunt and Meryl Streep the opportunity to play smart, funny and complicated mature women that don't turn up nearly often enough on the big screen.

"The Intern" sticks to the tradition with Anne Hathaway as a thirty-something, e-commerce business woman trying to juggle work and family. But the sixty-five year old Meyers is now interested in exploring how baby boomers fit in today's society and that comes in the form of Robert DeNiro playing a seventy-year old retired executive who decides to return to the work force. Because of the wide generation gap between them, neither believes they would have much in common but learn that age ain't nothing but a number.

Jules Ostin (Hathaway) has founded The Fit, an Internet fashion shopping site. The company is successful and growing fast which leaves her little time for her stay-at-home husband (Anders Holm) and their adorable young daughter (JoJo Kushner). Cameron (Andrew Rannells), head of operations, strongly recommends finding a seasoned CEO to help run the rapidly expanding company. Reluctantly she agrees to meet with potential candidates with the hope of being able to spend more time at home.

He also decides to hire a few seniors as interns for the company. Ben Whitaker (DeNiro), a recent widower has grown tired of spending his golden years trying to stay busy. He wants to get back to work and applies to be an intern at The Fit. Overqualified but happy to have a job, Ben is assigned to assist Jules.

Unable to recall agreeing to this plan, Jules is not comfortable around older people, as they remind her of the uncomfortable relationship with her mother (unseen but voiced by Mary Kay Place). She keeps her distance from Ben, finding him a bit too observant, which he is and quietly finds ways to make himself useful around the office.

Ben had been warned about Jules being a fire-breathing, dragon-lady, leaving us with the hope of seeing Ms Hathaway using what she learned in "The Devil Wears Prada". Alas, there is no Miranda Priestly type to be found. Jules is always impossibly sweet, saying "please" and "thank-you" despite the intense pressures of running her business while trying to be a good wife and mother. The actress doesn't have much to build on so her performance, while alluring and emotional, remains bland. It's nice to see the usually gruff DeNiro lay on the charm as the wise, good-natured retiree but we can feel him struggling to maintain this unnatural persona throughout.

Nancy Meyers' comedies are known for their visual delights with a long established focus on the world of the upwardly mobile, tastefully chic and flawlessly attractive crowd. This may sound strange but I think the cinematic counterpart to Ms Meyers in many ways is Woody Allen. Despite the many obvious differences, the most notable similarity is how each continuously enjoys creating these elegant worlds where we're supposed to be concerned about the great suffering and challenges of the well-to-do, struggling with the difficulties of their privileged lives. And people of color tend not to fit in their vision.

Now, I enjoyed "The Intern" (and to a lesser degree, Mr. Allen's recent "Irrational Man") and there's nothing necessarily wrong with holding on to this narrow worldview but film after film, it grows tedious, making it much harder to take their films seriously.

If Mr. Allen had made "The Intern", the director would have been compelled to create an unlikely romance between Jules and Ben. Ms Meyers appeared to be heading in that direction with a moment when the two, clad only in their pajamas, share a bed in a hotel room the evening before a meeting with a potential CEO in San Francisco. But the only action that occurs between them is Ben lending an ear and offering words of comfort and advice to a conflicted Jules. I'm sure that was her little joke on us where our long-held expectations in most rom-coms is to find our leads irresistibly attracted to one another. Thankfully, Ms Meyers is far more practical and finds a more age-appropriate romantic partner for Ben in the form of Rene Russo playing a masseuse that works for the company.

With "The Intern", Ms Meyers shares her thoughts and opinions on generational relationships, the current state of human interactions and what's lacking in the contemporary male with dazzling style and acute humor. You may find some of these ideas old-fashioned, elitist and overly melodramatic. But it does offer a lighthearted yet contemplative point of view which is quite refreshing in this day and age.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Written & Directed by Alex Ross Perry

Where & When: Sundance Sunset Cinemas, West Hollywood, CA. September 8, 2015 2:30PM

"Queen of Earth", Alex Ross Perry's follow-up to his breakout indie "Listen Up Philip", plays like a present-day take on the mentally fragile women in crisis films popular during the late '60's and mid-'70's. The director seems inspired by classic psychological dramas like Roman Polanski's "Repulsion", John Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" and Ingmar Bergman's "Persona". With the aide of two riveting performances by Elizabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston (who made quite an impression last year with her supporting role in "Inherent Vice"), Perry captures the eerie, unsettling atmosphere of those films using a loose structure, disquieting imagery and emotionally volatile exchanges. But the director has found nothing fresh or interesting to say about the stress and difficulties of being a modern woman that could lead her to coming undone.

The film opens with a close-up on the tear-stained, mascara-running face of the distraught Catherine, played by Ms Moss. Her long-time boyfriend, James (Kentucker Audley) coolly announces that he's leaving her for another woman. Catherine is devastated, trying to understand and begging him to stay, before finally resolving that this relationship is over.

She retreats to an idyllic lake house owned by her friend, Ginny (Waterston) with the hope of forgetting her troubles and working on her art. While Catherine does a little painting, she spends most of the time moping, sleeping and generally being unpleasant to be around. Ginny tries to be an understanding friend but there's an obscure tension between these two, leaving her struggling to find sympathy or patience for Catherine's plight. As each day goes by, instead of feeling better, Catherine becomes increasingly more unstable and erratic. The constant presence of Rich (Patrick Fugit), a neighbor hooking-up with Ginny and not a fan of Catherine's, doesn't help matters.

Catherine is also struggling with the recent loss of her beloved father, who was a successful artist, under unclear circumstances. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that a year ago, Catherine and James had stayed at the lake house while Ginny was going through a difficult time. While we can sense that there were some problems between Catherine and her boyfriend, she appears blissfully unaware. The film offers minimal personal information or back story to the characters with the director more interested in creating an intense and claustrophobic environment within the house. This may be to indicate that this could be the adding to Catherine's trauma but we are never really sure. There are far too many unanswered questions and not nearly enough clear ideas to keep us interested.

As her character descends deeper in to despair and instability, Ms Moss is unable to stir much compassion despite giving her all in a stellar go-for-broke performance. We don't understand much about Catherine but what we do know, it's not particularly appealing. Ginny is just as much of a blank slate but Ms Waterston manages to do fine work with very little to work with.

I was surprised to hear some have referred to the film as a dark comedy. I never found much to laugh at. Perhaps the sight of a person slowly coming unglued is supposed to inspire a chuckle. Regardless, I didn't find "Queen of Earth" satisfying as a drama or comedy. There just isn't enough to hang on to be concerned about the fate of the unpalatable Catherine. The other thing I thought is that she should really find a better class of friends.

Friday, September 18, 2015


One of the top events celebrating cinema in the world, the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival will begin September 25th through October 11th. "The Walk", the latest by Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis, is scheduled to kick off the fest however, because of the upcoming visit to the city by the Pope, the gala premiere will be delayed until September 26th. The NYFF will still open as planned but free screenings will be presented that day instead.

Although the story of high-wire artist Philippe Petit was previously told in "Man On Wire", the 2008 Best Documentary Oscar-winner, Zemeckis has enhanced his crossing between one tower to the other of the World Trade Center on just a wire with breath-taking 3-D visual effects. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Petit.

The Centerpiece screening will be "Steve Jobs" that features Michael Fassbender as the co-founder of Apple and focuses on the early development of the products that helped launch the digital revolution. Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") directs from a script by Aaron Sorkin with Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogan also starring.

The closing night film selected is "Miles Ahead", the directorial feature debut by Don Cheadle who also stars as jazz legend, Miles Davis and co-wrote the screenplay. The film explores the period when Davis was working on returning to performing music after a five-year absence in the '70's.

In between, there will be twenty-three additional films that earned a spot in the main section of the festival. This is from a wide range of important and innovative filmmakers from across the globe including Miguel Gomes ("Arabian Nights"), Hou Hsiao-hsien ("The Assassin"), Apichatpong Weerasethakul ("Cemetery of Splendour"), Michael Almereyda ("Experimenter"), Rebecca Miller ("Maggie’s Plan"), Michel Gondry ("Microbe et Gasoil"), Michael Moore ("Where To Invade Next"), Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster") and Steven Spielberg ("Bridge of Spies").

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Another fall movie season is almost upon us. With well over one hundred films and documentaries set to be released through the end of the year, that is almost too much of a good thing. There are so many I can't wait to see but I have narrowed down to the ten films that have particularly caught my attention.

All release dates are subject to change:


Release date: September 18, 2015

In "Sicario" (which in Spanish means "hitman"), Emily Blunt plays a FBI agent recruited by a government official (Josh Brolin) to join a task force to help track down a Mexican drug lord. Benicio Del Toro is a Mexican mercenary working with the team but where his loyalties lie seem unclear. Denis Villeneuve ("Prisioners", "Enemy") directs.


Release date: October 2, 2015

It's always a thrill seeing Tom Hardy on the big screen but in "Legend" we will see two. The actor will play both identical twins, Ronald and Reginald Kray in writer/director Brian Helgeland's film about these notorious gangsters who put London on edge throughout the '50's and '60's.


Release date: October 16, 2015

Guillermo del Toro gets back to the roots of his early film career with another Gothic horror tale, "Crimson Peak". Set in 19th century London, Mia Wasikowska is a young author who falls for a handsome suitor (Tom Hiddleston). After they wed, she moves in to his crumbling estate where she encounters dark secrets, mysterious entities and the biggest scare of them all, his very intense sister (Jessica Chastain).


Release date: November 6, 2015

Based on the book by Colm Tóibín, "Brooklyn" tells the story of a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan) coming to America to start a new life in the New York borough. She meets and falls in love with an American boy (Emory Cohen) but a family emergency forces her back to Ireland, leaving her torn between the two countries. The film made an impressive splash at Sundance with the performance of Ms Ronan receiving plenty of high praise.


Release date: November 20, 2015

"Carol", finally brings filmmaker, Todd Haynes back to cinema for the first time since "I'm Not There", his highly unconventional 2007 Bob Dylan bio-pic. Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, "The Price of Salt", Cate Blanchett plays the title character, a wealthy, married woman who finds herself attracted to Therese (Rooney Mara), a young shop girl. While this wouldn't raise too many eyebrows today but back in the 1950's when this story is set, it would be a complete scandal. The film was a critical sensation at this year's Cannes and Mara tied for the Best Actress prize.


Release date: November 27, 2015

Last year's Best Actor Oscar-winner, Eddie Redmayne is back in a role that could potentially earn him another award. In "The Danish Girl", Redmayne plays Einar Wegener, a man living in 1920's Copenhagen. It begins innocently enough with him standing in as a female model for his artist wife (the very busy, Alicia Vikander) before realizing that he wants to start living life as a real woman. Wegener, now called Lili Elbe, becomes the first known person to have sexual reassignment surgery. Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winner for "The King's Speech", directs this timely story.


Release date: December 18, 2015

Although I was extremely disappointed with the three "Star Wars" prequels (Jar Jar Binks? REALLY??!), I'm much more optimistic about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". The main reason is because of the involvement of J.J. Abrams who brought the "Star Trek" franchise back to life with films that honored the history of the series yet were also creatively innovative with strong storytelling. The trailer for "The Force Awakens" indicates the spirit of the original films (with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford all back on board) while taking us on an exciting new adventure. I can't wait!


Release date: December 25, 2015

David O. Russell, whose last three films, "The Fighter", "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" each received Best Picture nominations, has a gift for taking offbeat stories and making them appealing to a mass audience. With his latest, "Joy", Jennifer Lawrence stars as Joy Mangano, a single mother of three who becomes a successful entrepreneur due to her invention of the Miracle Mop. In addition to Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro appear to re-team with the director. Édgar Ramírez, Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd and Isabella Rossellini also star.


Release date: December 25, 2015

Due to Quentin Tarantino's temper tantrum over his script being leaked, "The Hateful Eight" almost didn't make it to the screen. Thankfully, a calmer mind prevailed and this western about a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) with his captured outlaw (Jennifer Jason Leigh) ridding out a blizzard in a cabin filled with a gang of shady characters will be able to be seen in a glorious 70MM film format. Tarantino regulars Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen also make an appearance. The legendary composer, Ennio Morricone, who hasn't composed a score to a western in forty years, will be creating original music for this film.


Release date: December 25, 2015

Inspired by a true incident, "The Revenant" features Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trapper that is mauled by a bear. Left to die by his thieving crew, the trapper miraculously survives and sets out to track down the men (Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson) to seek revenge. Although this plot sounds very much like a Tarantino movie, it's actually the follow-up to Alejandro Iñárritu's Oscar-winning Best Picture, "Birdman".

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Written by Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch

Directed by Sean Baker

Where & When: Sundance Sunset Cinemas, West Hollywood, CA. September 4, 2015 9:20PM

"Tangerine" begins quietly on an early Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Two friends share a celebratory donut after being recently reunited. While catching up, Alexandra (Mya Taylor) lets a secret slip which causes Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) to explode in to a major hissy fit, sending her off on a day-long trek, up and down Santa Monica Boulevard, to right this serious wrong. That this involves two transgender prostitutes creates a whole new dynamic, taking us in to a somber but riveting world most people go out of their way to avoid noticing. Director Sean Baker has crafted a playful but moving slice of life on the rough, seedy streets of East Hollywood, an area well-known for working girls with something extra.

The secret revealed is that while Sin-Dee was in jail for almost thirty days, Chester (James Ransone), her pimp/boyfriend, has been hooking up with a "fish" or in non-slang language, a real woman. Angry and hurt, Sin-Dee is going to hunt down Chester to demand an explanation for this betrayal. And that's the basic plot of our film. But what brings this micro-budgeted indie to life is the wild antics and sassy attitude of our leading ladies along with the colorful characters we meet during this comically strange journey.

With her dream of performing on stage happening later that evening at a West Hollywood club, Alexandra is willing to go with Sin-Dee but doesn't want to get involved with any drama. Sin-Dee promises but it's short-lived. As the day progresses and pinning Chester down grows more complicated, the angry hooker redirects her rage at Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan), the woman involved. Located at a rundown motel, turning tricks out a room, Sin-Dee drags Dinah out, forcing her to go with her to find their pimp to finally settle this matter.

There's a subplot involving Razmik (Karren Karagulian), an Armenian taxi driver. He has a taste for this type of Hollywood lady of the streets with a soft spot (or hard, if you want to go there) in particular for Sin-Dee. Informed by Alexandra that she's back and will be at her show, Razmik is desperate to see her, willing to escape the middle of a family gathering for the chance. This proves not to be a wise move, unraveling into a madcap, messy finale.

Much like Mr. Baker's last film, the underrated, "Starlet" about the unlikely friendship between a young porn star (Dree Hemingway) and an elderly woman (the late Besedka Johnson), "Tangerine" focuses on the fierce, tight bond between Alexandra and Sin-Dee, trying to hold each other up as they search for love and respect, which comes in short supply with their line of work. Ms Taylor and Ms Rodriguez, two non-professional actors Mr. Baker found at the LGBT Center in Hollywood, bring a sense of realism to their roles but also deliver fine, comedic performances.

"Tangerine", which premiered and received plenty of attention at this year's Sundance Film Festival, is most notable for being filmed entirely with an Iphone 5S  (three to be exact) and may be the first feature released theatrically in this format. My honest, initial reactions to hearing this was horror, then skepticism to finally feeling that this was the beginning of the apocalypse of movies. Perhaps a little dramatic but I have a genuine concern about technology shrinking the scope of cinema to fit ever shrinking devices. After seeing the results, I must admit the film looks really good. There is nothing about the images here that feels small or slight. With Baker and Radium Cheung behind the phones, they manage to capture a frenzied energy that pops off the big screen. The shimmering light from the California sun creates a harsh, saturated look that's quite effective.

"Tangerine" is hysterically fun, emotionally raw and delightfully insane. While the sight and sound of shrieking trans hookers may not be everyone's idea of entertainment, the film creates a hilarious, must-see experience during which you are taken on this street-wise, screwball trip inside their domain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Written by Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg & Josh Trank

Directed by Josh Trank

Where & When: Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, CA.  August 18, 2015  7:25PM

The Fantastic Four are a group of superheroes, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961, who gained their super-powers after being heavily exposed to cosmic rays during a space expedition. This collective became one of the most popular comic books in the Marvel Universe. After a low-budget Roger Corman production in the '90's that never saw the light of day and two more recent films that made some money but were far from critical favorites, the latest version brought to the screen is also far from fantastic. "Fantastic Four", directed by Josh Trank whose only previous feature was the low-budget hit, "Chronicle", is filled with too much silly science, dim-witted drama and not nearly enough fun or adventure.

We are given another origin story but it has been completely reworked and not for the better. This time, a teenage genius, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) along with his classmate, Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) enter their high school science fair with his invention of a device that can transport objects. While not entirely successful but it works well enough to capture the attention of Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), the director of the Baxter Foundation, a scientific research institute. He offers Richards an opportunity to further develop his project at their lab. The idea is to merge Richards' invention with a failed device created at the Baxter by a sulking Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) with the hope of a working machine.

Franklin's children, Sue Storm (Kate Mara), his adopted daughter and hot-headed son, Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) also help work on the experiment at the lab. After the team successfully transports a monkey to a planet in another dimension with their space shuttle called the Quantum Gate, it's now ready to test on humans. Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson), the supervisor of the Baxter, thanks the team for their hard work but informs them NASA will be taking over the project. After a drunken celebration, the boys decide they should be the first to test their invention. Reed calls Ben to join them and they sneak off for a trip to another planet.

Once they arrive, the scientists set out to explore this alien world. Their presence causes a serious disruption, setting off a series of violent explosions throughout the landscape. As they race to get back to their shuttle, Victor falls in to a void, forcing them to leave him behind. With Sue back at the base to help them return, their space craft explodes on re-entry, exposing them all to cosmic rays.

We know they all survive but each has been altered with strange powers. Reed now has a body that can stretch to great lengths. Sue has the power of invisibility, can create force fields and travel through the skies like Glinda, the good witch. Johnny's body is engulfed in flames and Ben has become a giant with brute strength but his body is covered with a rock-like substance. The big, bad government holds the foursome in confinement to observe them but Richards manages to escape, feeling guilty for their condition.

A year later, the remaining three are trained to learn how to control their powers. Grimm is sent out on secret military missions with the others soon to follow. Dr. Allen is actively trying to track down Richards so he can recreate their previous voyage. The young scientist is found, mislead to return to planet with the goal of finding them a cure. After they arrive, miraculously, von Doom is found still alive. Not only has the doctor been changed, he is pissed.

"Fantastic Four" can't shake the feeling of rushing it's narrative even though the pacing moves at the speed of molasses. Even by comic book standards, the characters are non-existent with the plot over-the-top and full of gaping holes.

Social media expressed it's outrage over the casting of the African-American Jordan in the role of the usually blond, blue-eyed Johnny Storm. I didn't mind the switch (in fact, I found it the one inspired moment in this film) but what I did mind was the lack of an expressive wit the Human Torch usually displays in comics or even in the previous films. Here, Johnny Storm plays one note, unpleasantly sullen. The rest of the cast is equally lackluster with Mr. Teller, coming off his amazing performance in "Whiplash", faring best which isn't saying much. The only thing notable about Ms Mara here is the distracting change of her hair color and length throughout the film. This is the first time that the rock-covered Thing actually looks believable on screen but the complete waste of the gifted Mr. Bell (who first made an impression as a boy in "Billy Elliot") is unforgivable.

Much like the recent remake of "Spider-Man" that starred Andrew Garfield (which is incredibly getting rebooted again), this latest "Fantastic Four" feels commonplace and marginal. It may not have started out that way but after the well-publicized friction between the studio, the director and the actors, this film was a disaster that didn't have much of a chance. The results is a problematic adventure that has been salvaged the best it can.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Written by Amy Schumer

Directed by Judd Apatow

Where & When: Springdale 18 Cinema De Luxe, Cincinnati, OH. July 27, 2015

I admit I was very tardy to the Amy Schumer party but after catching the recent season of her skit comedy series, "Inside Amy Schumer", I have become a die-hard fan of the ribald comedian. After making her mark on television, Schumer is attempting to take on the big screen with "Trainwreck", a wonderfully offbeat romantic comedy that she has written. The director who is best known for his brand of sweetly lewd man-child comedies, Judd Apatow was inspired by Schumer to break out of his comfortable niche. This is the first film he has directed that he hasn't written and together they enhance each other's gifts.

Our story begins with Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn) telling his two young daughters that he's divorcing their mother and leaves them with some fatherly advice that monogamy isn't at all realistic. Years later, while the younger sister, Kim (Brie Larson) didn't take him seriously, Amy (Schumer) took her daddy's words to heart. Kim has settled in to a comfortable relationship with a nice guy (Mike Birbiglia) and his nerdy, young son but Amy is a wild, hot mess. The only commitment she has is to evenings filled with too much alcohol and ending with anonymous sexual encounters.

Amy works as a writer for a men's magazine run by Dianna (Tilda Swinton), a brassy editor-in-chief that makes Anna Wintour seem demure and slight. Realizing Amy's aversion to sports, Dianna thinks she will be perfect to do a story on a top doctor working with basketball players. When Amy meets her subject, Aaron (Bill Hader), sweet but socially inept, they hit it off. After spending the evening enjoying each other's company, it ends with Amy's usual routine of heavy drinking and sex. But Aaron asks Amy to break her steadfast rule of never spending the night and surprisingly, she agrees. The biggest shock occurs for Amy the next day when the doctor calls actually wanting to see her again. She's kinda, sort of dating a muscle-bound lunkhead (John Cena) but Aaron begins to stir genuine emotions in her for the first time which scares her to death.

Part of Ms Schumer's comedy is to shock and titillate with her no-holds-barred observations on sexism and gender politics. She may look like the adorable girl-next-door but she's unafraid to tell a raunchy joke that might make you squirm in your seat yet also leave you with something deeper to think about. "Trainwreck" aims to shake-up the dated notion of the romantic comedy and Schumer's amusing screenplay (loosely based on her own real-life experiences)  cleverly flips long held expectations of how women should behave in the pursuit of love and companionship. The comedian enjoys locating the humor in awkward sexual situations which is clearly what appealed to Mr. Apatow. The film also explores Amy's troubled family dynamic, with the director bringing his skill of finding the heartwarming and poignant emotional moments in between all of the absurdity.

My only real complaint is the same complaint I have with most of Mr. Apatow's films which is that they go on far too long. I'm sure the director feels that every filmed bit is a precious gem that he can't bear to lose but "Trainwreck" clocks in at a little over two hours. For a comedy with a fairly simple plot, the film feels unnecessarily padded.

No one should be surprised by Ms Schumer ably delivering the funny but what is more unexpected is her deft performance in the more dramatic situations. This is Mr. Hader's first real shot as a leading man and the Saturday Night Live veteran is more than capable of handling this position. Another inspired move was having basketball great, LeBron James turn up playing an overly sensitive version of himself as the doctor's patient/buddy who's rooting for the couple as he offers thoughtful words of encouragement. In a role usually reserved for the female lead's BFF, James is quite effectively funny. Several other well-known faces pop-up to make notable cameo appearances. Some likely (current SNL players, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones, a horde of stand-up comedians, and Oscar-winner, Marisa Tomei) and others more unexpected (tennis star, Chris Evert, the Miami Heat's, Amar'e Stoudemire, sportscaster, Marv Albert and "Harry Potter" actor, Daniel Radcliffe ).

With "Trainwreck", Amy Schumer proves she can be just as hilariously vulgar as the boys yet her comedy still comes from a place involving thoughtful female insight. Another thing this film proves is that Schumer is a new kind of comedy star. Her blazing wit, quirky charm and brutal honesty is just what is missing and desperately needed in cinema today.