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‘Trainwreck’: Amy Schumer hilarious in a romantic comedy to embrace

Amy Schumer is great in bed.

Before somebody alerts TMZ or Perez Hilton, let’s clarify we’re talking about Amy Schumer in “Trainwreck,” and when I say she’s great I mean she’s flat-out hilarious, whether she’s waking up in a stranger’s bed and saying to herself, “Please don’t be a dorm room, please don’t be a dorm room”; coaching her hopeless hunk of a boyfriend through some dirty talk; fumbling through a drunken escapade with an inappropriate partner, or setting the rules for a post-sex sleepover, when all she really wants to do is go home so she can, you know, SLEEP.

Written by Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, “Trainwreck” is my favorite romantic comedy of the year, and despite (or maybe because of) all its sharp edges and cynical set pieces, it’s a movie you want to wrap your arms around, or at least give a high five. (Although I don’t think you can actually high-five a movie, can you?)

We know Schumer is one of the smartest and funniest people on the planet based on her stand-up work, her appearances on Howard Stern’s show (where Apatow heard Schumer and was inspired to make a movie with her) and the brilliant Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer.” So it’s no surprise Schumer consistently brings the laughs in her debut as a feature film lead.

What did take me aback was the range and depth of Schumer’s performance. From some scathingly raw confrontations with the people who love her the most (Amy’s got some issues) to the most moving eulogy in a romantic film since “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Schumer delivers one of the best performances I’ve seen in any genre of film this year.

Schumer plays Amy (I didn’t even have to IMDB that one!), a New Yorker who writes for a tragically superficial men’s magazine called S’nuff (best worst magazine name ever), which, according to the pitch meetings, sounds like Maxim if Maxim lost its mind. Amy’s dating a perfectly muscled, sweet but dopey workout maniac named Steven (John Cena), who clearly wants to be on the other team but hasn’t realized it yet, but she’s also aggressively playing the field. Swilling goblets of wine, smoking pot, cracking wise about everyone and everything in her path and then hooking up with a guy — for Amy, that’s called Tuesday.

Related: ‘Trainwreck’ sex scene with John Cena gave Amy Schumer the giggles

In keeping with most Apatow films (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up”), “Trainwreck” is overstuffed with supporting characters and meandering day trips into subplots that sometimes have very little to do with the main story. Most of these subplots work. A very few scenes are deadwood. (A movie within the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei goes nowhere.)

Bill Hader, another comedic performer with impressive dramatic chops (you owe it to yourself to rent “The Skeleton Twins”), is pure charm and likability as Aaron, a sports surgeon and almost unbearably sweet guy. When Amy’s Anna Wintour-esque editor Dianna (an almost unrecognizable and fantastic Tilda Swinton) assigns non-sports fan Amy to do a profile on Aaron, boom, we have our setup and potential first grown-up, actual romance for Amy.

This also opens the door to a number of sports-related themes, most notably LeBron James playing a version of himself we hope is close to the real LeBron.

Amy has no idea who LeBron is, but LeBron doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is his best buddy Aaron, and making sure Amy doesn’t break his boy’s heart. (Basically, Aaron has the pretty girl role in this movie, and LeBron is the pretty girl’s fiercely loyal sidekick.) James holds his own in scenes with Hader and Schumer, and that’s pretty darn impressive.

The casting of the acerbic Colin Quinn as Amy’s father, a one-time womanizer and party animal who’s battling MS, is spot-on. Brie Larson is terrific as Amy’s sister, who is married to a boring regular guy who has a strange little son. The dynamic between Schumer and Larson is complex and authentic enough to warrant a movie on its own.

Schumer’s performance is a tour de force of razor-sharp comedic timing. A Walk of Shame that extends to a Boat Ride of Shame on the Staten Island Ferry is priceless. Little moments, like a discussion of how to properly call for the check, feel just right. Even when the comedy in “Trainwreck” goes from sublime to broad, we believe Amy and Aaron and the people in their lives could be sitting at the next table in a restaurant, or next to us at a Knicks game.

In fact we’d want Amy sitting next to us, even if she might cut us with a quip or two. We’d probably deserve it.

[s3r star=3.5/4]

Universal Pictures presents a film directed by Judd Apatow and written by Amy Schumer. Running time: 124 minutes. Rated R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use). Opens Friday at local theaters.