Trainwreck Challenges Postfeminism

By Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor July 30, 2015

Oh, Amy Schumer. There is so much to be said about her and so little time. Her new movie, Trainwreck, is everything we could have hoped for in sense of humour and ridiculousness.

But what’s interesting about this film is that Amy also breaks down the common thread we’re so used to seeing in romantic comedies, or romcoms, and redefines it on her own terms.


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In the beginning, we see her as we’re used to seeing her, unabashedly living her life with a whole lot of sex, a great job, and a phenomenal apartment. She toes that line we all wish we could of being a hot mess and that elusive cool girl. But even from the start, you know something’s missing, and she can feel it too. Something just feels off. But why? She should have everything needed to feel empowered, or at least that’s what post-feminism tells us.  We’re so used to seeing movies like Bridgette Jones or Pretty Woman, which engrained the idea that this is what an empowered woman looks like. Schumer has the dream life every woman should want, but that’s where the critique starts coming in.

Since when did the dream life stop being fulfilling and start being for show? We’ve internalized the exploitation, because we haven’t seen anything else.

Throughout Trainwreck, you’ll witness stereotypical rom com trends, like girl meets boy, boy falls hard for girl, girl needs some time, yada yada yada. But the fun part of this is that Schumer twists the scenario just enough so we see bits and pieces of ourselves in her character. And, something along the way, as it always does in rom coms, clicked for Schumer’s character (It could also be the fact that she was writing for a magazine with articles like “You Call Those Tits?” or).

We see her progression grow from one we’re used to seeing in romcoms of the hot mess being a means to an end for a Prince Charming to actually creating a life she’s excited about, where she just so happens to get a knight of her own. So what can we learn from Amy Schumer’s movie, besides the idea that “trainwrecks” need love too?

Surprisingly, we internalize a lot from what we see in the movies and while we’re quick to call out the exploitation if a man does it, what about our token feel good movies?  And what if it happens from our group of girlfriends? Trainwreck may be a rom com of sorts on the surface but it also hits on some key aspects of what it really means to be living the dream life and whether or not the idea is as good as the reality.

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About Dana

DANA_ZILLGITT_writer_bio_(1).jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.


Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.


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