By Laurie Coker
Amy Schumer can be worrisome. Her devil may care attitude and trash talking potty mouth works for some, but is offing putting for others. Her new film, co-starring the delightful Goldie Hawn, Snatched allows her to be funny without too much over-the-top nastiness. Her pairing with Hawn is what makes this less than average comedy bearable. This buddy comedy works because of Hawn and Schumer’s undeniable charm and talent.
In a less than fresh storyline, the recently dumped by her musician boyfriend, Emily (Schumer) is heartbroken, but even more devastating in the non-refundable trip to Ecuador she had planned to take with him. After trying literally every person she knows, Emily decides to convince her mother, Linda (Hawn), to go. Still nursing her broken heart, Emily is easily seduced by James (Tom Bateman), a British stranger who lures Emily and Linda into a trap. At home, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), Emily’s agoraphobic brother, learns of the kidnapping and he works hilariously to drum up rescue effort to save his “Ma-ma” and sister. Proving to be captives right out of the story Ransom of Red Chief, Emily and Linda cause mayhem as they trek their way through the Amazon – encountering bad guys, dim-wit saviors, and parasites. Their goal is the American Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.
Schumer and Hawn truly are funny and a good deal of screenwriter Katie Dippold’s dialogue is witty and smart, even if the story overall is not. It is nice seeing Goldie again – with her signature smile, but her maternal sarcasm is even livelier. Barinholtz, too, is a bit of a riot – admittedly a middle-aged man living with him mom and afraid to leave his home. Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack play a pair of “platonic” friends who jump in to help Linda and Emily and do so with excellent comedic ease. If fact, the entire ensemble case from good guys to baddies blend nicely to keep Snatched to succumbing to complete and utter asininity – although it is asinine.
Snatched is perfect spring film fair and while it won’t win awards, it is fun. It’s short, sweet and silly and I liked it. It earns its R-rating for crude comedy and never slows down long enough to apologize for its faults. There are a few not-so-subtle messages in Emily’s story, about self-awareness, irresponsibility, and relationships, and these coupled with the cast make Snatched an hour and a half diversion from stress. I am placing a B- in my grade book.