REVIEW – ‘Snatched’ nothing new, but will generate laughs

It’s a mother-daughter comedy that definitely channels some 2017 humour, just not all that smartly.

Up front: I don’t like Amy Schumer. I find her irritating and overrated, often pandering to the lowest common denominator when she’s trying to be funny. However, I’m team Goldie Hawn, so that got my butt to the theatre ahead of the wide release of Snatched. 

The goods: Emily (Schumer) needs someone to go with her to Ecuador, after her boyfriend dumps her. Her mother, Linda (Hawn) is a recluse after her her husband leaves her, but Emily convinces mom to tag along. At the resort, Emily meets a man, James (Tom Bateman) who charms her into exploring the ‘real’ Ecuador, but that ends with mother and daughter kidnapped for ransom. It’s up to the pair to escape the clutches of the bad guys, with the help of Emily’s awkward brother, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), from a distance.

“All I have is my muh-mah.” Jeffrey is one of the brighter spots in this film, playing a character that’s part Napoleon Dynamite, part Alan Garner a la The Hangover. (YouTube)

This is nothing new: self-depreciating humour, stock characters with their traits pulled out of the sky, (for instance, try a former Trader Joe’s manager wearing a hat from JC Penney, who seems to be a local…but actually isn’t. Thanks, Christopher Meloni), and just a few lessons to be learned about family.

I did find a couple of charming moments: I actually didn’t mind the team of Hawn and Schumer. If I’m taking a page out of the Forrest Gump quote book, they “go together like peas and carrots.” I was concerned Hawn wasn’t going to gel with Schumer, since Schumer’s comedy palate can polarize people, but they worked together just fine, and if there were differences there, I couldn’t tell. They held this very blandly written film together, though appearances by Wanda Sykes and a mute Joan Cusak (functioning as a ‘platonic friend duo,’ as Wanda’s character referred to themselves in the movie) were welcome. Sykes plays a character Schumer and Hawn meet at the resort, while Cusak is Sykes’s “special ops friend.” (“You know, that not bullshit special ops” – I’m kind of paraphrasing Wanda’s line, here.)

Of course, what mother-daughter comedy isn’t complete without a conflict between the duo that results in a light bulb moment? It tries to be touching but came across as awkward.

I think this is an okay Mother’s Day movie or a date night movie. While Schumer is still her very crass self, Goldie Hawn is lovable. I had a good time, and a few laughs, but I also wouldn’t have cried if I’d missed out. A 2.5 out of 5 from me.

Here’s the trailer…

 

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