Movie Review: “Snatched”

Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Tom Bateman, Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Meloni
Jonathan Levine

“Snatched” is very light on its feet. Even at 90 minutes, director Jonathan Levine’s comedy can wear thin, but it’s not without some kind-hearted laughs. Plus, as mother and daughter, Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are able to keep the comedy afloat even when it struggles to find momentum.

Emily (Schumer) is a little dissatisfied with her life. After losing her job and getting dumped by her boyfriend, all she has to look forward to is a vacation for two in Ecuador that she was meant to take with her ex. After a funny and relatable exchange with her mother Linda (Hawn) over her single relationship status on Facebook, Emily pays her a visit, which Linda thinks she only does when she wants something. They both love each other but have grown distant since Emily left home. After all her friends turn down the trip, however, Emily asks her mom to come along. Linda is happy to stay at the resort and read her book while her daughter parties with James (Tom Bateman), who she met at a bar earlier that day, but when James takes Linda and Emily out for an adventure, the mother and daughter get kidnapped. They manage to escape, but trouble continues to chase them throughout the jungle.

The film begins with a misleading text that makes us assume Emily and Linda are about to go on an insane adventure, but it never gets as crazy or as funny as one would hope with Schumer and Hawn on the run from criminals. In fact, the R-rated comedy often plays it safe, sometimes feeling more like a PG-13 film, although Emily and her mom’s South American adventure goes to some genuine places.

The relationship between Emily and Linda is the heart of “Snatched,” and it’s refreshingly honest. The reason for why they’ve grown distant and how they end up coming together, despite the ridiculousness of it all, doesn’t ring false. You don’t need to have gone through a nutty, “Romancing the Stone”-esque adventure with your mom to relate to the film. There’s a lovely moment movie in the movie, which was written by “Ghostbusters” scribe Katie Dippold, where Emily finds a photo album featuring her mom in her younger and more adventurous years. There’s some sadness to the moment but also the beauty of still making discoveries about your parents.

There are also a decent amount of laughs. They’re not always consistent or as big as one would expect with such a talented cast and promising concept, but Schumer and Hawn are a charismatic pair. Both of their best work comes during the more heartfelt moments, though, like the aforementioned scene with the photo album or when Linda puts Emily’s safety before her own.

Two supporting players that help liven up “Snatched” are Ike Barinholtz, playing Linda’s needy grown son, and Christopher Meloni as self-described adventurer Roger Simmons. Meloni doesn’t miss a beat as Simmons and brings a great energy to the movie. He sees himself as the hero in Linda and Emily’s story, and he couldn’t be further from the truth. Though “Snatched” never reaches its full potential, in those moments with Simmons or when Emily and Linda must rely on one another, it’s an enjoyable and sincere comedy.


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