20th Century Fox
Director: Jonathan Levine
Written by: Katie Dippold
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, Ika Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Óscar Jaenada, Randall Park, Tom Bateman
Screened at: AMC Lincoln Square, NYC, 3/3/17
Opens: May 5, 2017
This adventure-comedy has the theme of mother-daughter relationships with an emphasis on two women who have been distant and who are brought together by experiencing a dangerous adventure. There could a reason that Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) and her mother Linda Middleton (Goldie Hawn) have not done fun things together for a while. Mom is uptight, not adventuresome, content with reading a book despite potential adventures that would sound inviting to anyone with a pulse and some money to finance trips. For her part Emily is a seeker, a woman who has planned a vacation not in some traditional location like Virginia Beach or Las Vegas, but this time for Ecuador. There’s a crimp in her plans in that Michael (Randall Park), her boyfriend-musician dumps her the night before they were to leave together and none of her friends and acquaintances are ready at such short notice to join her, even for free. So who to invite? She heads to her divorced mother, begging her to go, suggesting that Ecuador is the place since life is too short to read books. When her mom is virtually shanghaied to join her daughter, perhaps with the secret wish to bond with her, the two get more than they expect, but that’s all good because without their being conned by James (Tom Bateman), operating in an Ecuador resort, they would have had a carefree time and gone home just as distant as before.
Though “Snatched” is billed as a comedy—of course, it has Amy Schumer—the big attraction for a potential audience is a chance to see Goldie Hawn in her first role since she teamed up with Susan Sarandon in 2002 for Bob Dolman’s “The Banger Sisters,” in which Hawn this time plays the wilder one to Sarandon’s more conservative character. It’s great to see one of the great comedic actresses again after fifteen years but it’s too bad that she got stuck in a movie that depends on slapstick instead of the kind of sharp writing you might expect on a good night of SNL. If you think it’s funny to see Amy Schumer falling twice or thrice flat on her face, this could be the pic for you. If you think it’s amusing to see Amy Schumer swabbing her vagina in a bathroom which, given the opening and closing of the door could be viewed by men, ditto. If you thrill to hear Morgan Russell, an official of the U.S. State Department say “Shut the eff up” several times when receiving calls from Emily’s dorky brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), go for it.
To make a gratefully short movie shorter, the two women go for a drive with handsome James, taking the scenic route, are deposited with a vicious Morgado (Óscar Jaenada), are held for ransom, manage to escape only to get caught again, and are both so excited about the experiences that the following year they visit Kuala Lumpur where they are again seen being conned.
A small part is filmed in New York City but the major area, after a stop at a fancy resort in Honolulu, is in the village of Waianae, also in Honolulu County, where the Hawaii Tourism Commission may not laugh much at the comic antics displayed but should be proud of a product placement for a stunning rain forest. Is this a chick flick? Yes and no. I think men might find it worthwhile if they maintain a low bar for comedy and if they would like almost anything featuring Amy Schumer as the go-to girl for broad (so to speak) comedy.
Rated R. 91 minutes. © Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Comments, readers? Agree? Disagree? Why?
Story – C
Acting – B-
Technical – B
Overall – C+