‘Trainwreck’ Makes the Case for Monogamy
It’s funny to me how on one hand, Hollywood can make movies that disparage or poke fun of celibates or adult virgins, but then, every so often, some of them make a movie that shows more respect and insight for monogamy, celibacy, and adult virginity than most churches do.
I’ve not yet seen this “Trainwreck” movie. If it ever comes on cable, I may watch it. It sounds like at the core it’s teaching that empty sex, or casual sex, can make a person miserable.
- by Katrina Trinko
- She’s [the movie’s main character, Amy (played by Amy Schumer)] no fan of monogamy, she is baffled when her boyfriend talks about marriage and she’s all about the one-night stand.
You’d think she’d be the heroine in a Hollywood movie. Instead, she’s…well, a “Trainwreck.”
(And “Trainweck” is not some new slang for “super cool,” in case you’re wondering.)
Director Judd Apatow’s latest movie follows the formula he’s become known for: excessive raunch paired with family values. “Trainwreck” begins with a dad telling his two young daughters that monogamy’s unrealistic, asking them if they’d want to commit to playing with just one doll for the rest of their lives.
- Then he explains that that’s why their mom and dad are getting divorced.
The sexual revolution and feminism
Twenty-three years later, Amy (played by Amy Schumer) is a loyal daddy’s girl, playing the field aggressively. She, also like her dad, uses drugs (one memorable scene involves her smoking weed out the window of a hotel during a professional luncheon) and drinks copiously.
But instead of coming off as a strong, sexually “liberated” woman who’s being true to herself, Amy only appears deeply troubled.
- The more men she touches, the more closed off she becomes: when she does sleep with a man she feels connection to, she requires him, post-sex, to place a pillow between them and stay completely on his side, just because she can’t bear a non-sexual touch. At the funeral of their dad, her sister Kim snaps at Amy in some variation of “Stop pushing me away!”
- Because that’s what Amy does, and it’s never more poignant than at the funeral of their dad. If there is one person Amy loves, it’s her dad—a man she herself describes in her eulogy as an “a–hole.”
Her father’s daughter
Pairing a romantic comedy storyline with a daughter’s struggle to cope with her father’s multiple sclerosis, nursing home experience and eventual death may seem like a surprising script move.
But it’s an inspired one—“Trainwreck” is the first Hollywood film I can recall that truly considers what it’s like to grow up as a child of the sexual revolution, what it’s like when your own parents have rejected the ideal of lifelong, monogamous marriage.
- …Amy and Kim have responded in very different ways to their parents’ choices. Kim takes their mom’s side, while Amy is loyal to their dad. Kim has married and is devoted to her stepson and husband. Amy doesn’t seem to give marriage a second thought.
- Yet, after her dad’s death, Amy slowly begins to show signs of change.
- …. Promiscuity and Intimacy
- But as we see, Amy’s paying a high price for that. Her relationship with sports doctor Aaron Conners (played by Bill Hader) is her uneasy foray into monogamy. It’s a genuine struggle for her: she is suspicious when he calls her after they sleep together, and she is confused by Conners’s willingness to help her with her dad.
- Yet she keeps dating him, keeps not sleeping around—to the extent that Conners is shocked when Amy’s brother-in-law references Amy’s past sexual history, a topic she’d been loud and proud about in the past.
- Her relationship with Conners isn’t the only area where Amy struggles to handle intimacy. Amy may not be using a pillow as a physical barrier between herself and her brother-in-law and nephew, but she’s showing a similarly cold attitude. She has buddies, but no friends she has serious conversations with.
- …“Trainwreck” doesn’t just give Amy a happy ending; it also vehemently argues that monogamous, committed love is still the happy ending we all should want— because the alternative necessitates avoiding intimacy and genuine love.
(Link): Weak Argument Against Celibacy / Virginity / Sexual Purity by the Anti Sexual Purity Gestapo – Sexual Compatibility or Incompatibility – (i.e., Taking Human Beings For Test Spins – Humans As Sexual Commodities) (Part 2)