Snatched might feature a great comedy duo in Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, but the jokes rely too much on being gross rather than being clever.
Director: Jonathan Levine
Summary: When her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.
The R-rated comedy has become a much larger genre in the last few years as studios realize that if they’re budgeted correctly, these movies can do very well for them. It’s a niche market for the most part, and that audience tends to be fairly loyal to their genre. Snatched is another R-rated comedy starring mostly women that takes the dynamic we’re used to and turns it on its head by making it a mother-daughter duo.
Schumer and Hawn are both fantastic in their respective roles and they very much feel like a mother and daughter. The little tics each of them have and the way they act around each other feels very genuine. It also shows us how a strained relationship between an adult child and the parent would feel. That, if nothing else, is really the only thing that keeps these characters relatable in any sense of the word; their relationship feels real.
It’s just a shame that the script, written by Parks and Recreation alumna Katie Dippold, can’t seem to find anything interesting or funny for these two to do. The majority of the jokes come down to gross-out humor that might be funny the first time, but really isn’t the second or third.
The best jokes in the entire movie come down to various extended scenes with the state department as Jeff (Ike Barinholtz) tries to get his mother and sister back. The idea of jumping through bureaucratic hoops and that the state department can’t really do that much for people who are kidnapped are some of the best parts of the movie. However, it doesn’t spend enough time with this joke, and instead relies on such things as holding meat over someone’s mouth to lure a tapeworm out.
The movie also feels like it’s trying say something about the self-centeredness of the modern generation, with Schumer’s Emily constantly being on her phone and taking pictures. It feels like a plotline that should have been in a different movie — it’s a weird detour whenever it comes up. The generational divide doesn’t seem wide enough for this type of plotline, and it feels out of place.
The movie doesn’t even really do anything with its central premise, aside from Emily constantly killing people without intending to, thus making their situation worse and worse as they try to get to an embassy that can help them.
Snatched should have been a lot better, considering the caliber of talent in the main cast. These two women are hilarious and could have been a riot together, but there just isn’t anything memorable here. The jokes aren’t that funny and at the end of the day, it’s just another R-rated comedy that is more gross than clever — which is a real shame. These two could do so much better, and this just isn’t worth your time.
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