By: BabyRuth (Three Beers) –
For the second year in a row, I got the take-your-mom-to-the-movies-for-Mother’s-Day comedy. Last year, it was the dreadful Mother’s Day (RIP Gary Marshall- sorry you had to go out on that one), this year it’s the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn buddy comedy/adventure/double-entendre titled Snatched. And while it’s not too difficult to top Mother’s Day (though Julia Roberts hanging onto her Notting Hill wig is still amazing), Snatched exceeded my expectations.
Emily (Amy Schumer) is having a streak of bad luck, first getting fired from her job, then dumped by her boyfriend right before their planned getaway to Ecuador. The vacation is non-refundable, so Emily scrambles to find a replacement traveling companion. None of her friends like her enough to fill the empty spot, so she convinces her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn), to accompany her. Linda is the complete opposite of up for anything Emily, having ditched her carefree ways since her divorce, now preferring to stay locked in her home with her many cats and agoraphobic adult son (Ike Barinholtz).
Only one day into their trip, Emily meets a handsome stranger (Tom Bateman), and after a night of partying off-resort accepts his invitation to further explore the country the next day, with Linda in tow (for someone supposedly super-cautious, Linda certainly agrees to a lot of dangerous stuff). It’s during this excursion that the titular snatching happens and the mother and daughter find themselves held captive for ransom.
Luckily, their abductors are the dumbest criminals in movie history and they are able to escape pretty easily. They learn they have been transported to Colombia and now must find their way to the safety of the American embassy, with their kidnappers not far behind. This gives them time to bond and work out their differences, though, so it’s not all bad, even if they have to kill a few people along the way (accidentally, of course. Oopsie!)
One’s decision to see Snatched most likely depends on one of two things: 1) their opinion of Amy Schumer 2) how much they want to see Goldie Hawn’s return to the screen after a 15 year absence (her last film appearance was 2002’s The Banger Sisters).
As far as Schumer is concerned, personally I’m not on the backlash train, though her self-deprecating, loose, boozy, party girl shtick (yes, this is another of those characters, if you haven’t figured it out by now) is starting to feel played-out. There are only so many vagina jokes one can make and she’s pretty much made them all by now. Hopefully, she’ll take-on a completely different type of character in the future (Trainwreck proved she’s got some dramatic chops under all the crude jokes). Still, she’s the go-to for this type of role and you have to admire her lack of vanity and fearlessness in doing anything for a laugh.
I will always love her for this. And this.
Though she plays second fiddle to Schumer (more on that in a minute), it sure is great to see Goldie Hawn back on screen. Hopefully, this wasn’t a one-off passing of the baton kind of thing because don’t we need Goldie Hawn more now than ever?
The two have believable chemistry and appear to be having a whole of lot fun together.
As good as Schumer and Hawn are, though, it’s the supporting cast who get the most laughs and makes this movie worthwhile.
We need to talk about Christopher Meloni. His small role as an Indiana Jones-esque adventurer is worth the price of admission alone. I want to say more, but the less known going in, the better. He is Ah. Maze. Ing. I would see an entire movie about his character’s life leading up to where he is when we meet him in Snatched. Please somebody get on that.
Ike Barinholtz’s bizarre mama’s boy gets funnier and funnier as the film progresses, especially when he inserts himself into the rescue efforts much to the chagrin of Bashir Salahuddin’s State Department Official. Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack show up as a couple Emily and Linda meet early on at the resort, who (sort of) end up helping them with some special skills. Despite not having one line of dialogue, Cusack’s scenes are some of the funniest. She’s an underrated comedic treasure.
The wackiness of these characters and nuances the actors give them are far more hilarious than any of the sight-gags and grand comic setpieces the film has to offer, not to say those aren’t pretty funny too.
Director Jonathan Levine (The Night Before) and screenwriter Katie Dippold (The Heat, 2016’s Ghostbusters) keep things moving along at a brisk 90 minutes, so the movie never overstays its welcome.
After all these years of waiting for Goldie Hawn to make her return to film, it’s a little bit of a bummer to see her as the straight (wo)man to Schumer. The role could have been played by anyone, though Goldie does the most she can with it and puts her signature touch on it. When she’s finally allowed to come alive and have some fun in the final moments, it’s a welcome sight.
The high-concept plot is really just an excuse to set up the comedy. It’s best you don’t think too much about it. There’s never a sense of any real danger as the ridiculous plot contrivances always provide an escape or someone to help the two women in (temporary) peril. It gets to a point where while viewing I wondered if it was part of an ongoing joke. It doesn’t really matter, though; come for the characters, not the story.
While Schumer and Hawn pull off a buddy action-comedy that falls somewhere between Hot Pursuit and Outrageous Fortune, it is the supporting cast who snatch this movie away from its two leads. Overall, it’s good silly fun. Take your mom (don’t worry- while it’s a little raunchy, the vulgarity is reined in… for the most part). I did and we had a blast.
Snatched (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Emily takes a selfie
Take a Drink: every time someone says “Ecuador”
Take a Drink: whenever Emily mentions how hungry she is
Take a Drink: “Mih-MA”
Take a Drink: every time Christopher Meloni is awesome
Take a Drink: whenever Emily and Linda are easily able to get out of a bad situation
Do a Shot: whenever someone is killed