According to Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer’s script for Trainwreck was originally “very premise-y.” While speaking with Ira Glass at the 92nd Street Y Tuesday night to promote his new book of interviews, Sick in the Head, Apatow, who produced and directed the film, recounted how he told Schumer, “The movie should be more personal, and so maybe we should peek around what’s happening in your life now.”
And we sat on the phone and I just said, ‘So, why don’t you have a boyfriend? What happens when you have a boyfriend, like why do you think you pick the wrong guy every time? And if you picked the right guy, do you have any sense of what that would be and how you would react if the right guy showed up, and what are the issues?’ and she started talking about it, and that became Trainwreck. Trainwreck is a fantasy of what would happen if she got healthy and saner.
Apatow also walked her through the process of wrapping up a script. “There are only five ways to end a movie,” he said. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, for instance, is a “happy-happy” ending. “He says he’s a virgin, she doesn’t mind, the sex is ultimately good, and then they dance.” Continuing to use The 40-Year-Old Virgin as an example, he said that there’s also the “kind of happy, kind of sad” ending (“they have sex, he dies of a heart attack”), “the sad-happy version” (“It wasn’t that good, maybe we’ll try tomorrow”), the “sad-sad version” (“She says, ‘I’ll have sex with you,’ he immediately gets hit by a car”), and finally, the “David Lynch dark mystery version, where he puts his penis inside her and like Laura Dern just goes Eeeeeeeeeeee! Fade to black.”
Trainwreck does not end that way.