Thursday, May 11, 2017

Snatched: Movie Review


Implausibility rules raunchy adventure comedy with mother-daughter relationship.
As demonstrated in Trainwreck, Amy Schumer is really good at playing an extreme version of a regular woman – being relatable and funny at the same time. In Snatched, Schumer’s Emily is more incompetent than the average woman, and is really funny when she quits her job right after she’s fired or breaking up with her boyfriend right after he dumps her (speaking of which, Randall Park was great as said boyfriend). 2017

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Screenplay by: Katie Dippold

Starring: Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn

The problem with Snatched is that the rest of the movie around Emily is very random with scattered laughs, and the incompetence of Emily isn’t funny in every situation – it’s funny in ordinary situations, but when we venture out into the Columbian jungle, we lose her connection to the average woman, and the comedy leaves with it. The main plot idea of Snatched isn’t bad; Emily has a non-refundable ticket for a vacation to Ecuador and with no other options (no boyfriend and all of her friends are more mature than she is), reluctantly decides to talk her safety-conscious (massive understatement) mother into coming with her. And thus mother and daughter can bond over the trip.

That bit of family drama, the bonding of, healing between, and forging a new relationship between mother and daughter doesn’t belong in a movie that’s trying to survive on chaotic, extreme comedy. The balance between drama and comedy doesn’t quite work here.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star in SNATCHED.
Photo Credit: Justina Mintz. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Emily is still funny at the beginning of their vacation making some stupidly funny choices when she meets a hot guy who is most assuredly bad news, and then they get kidnapped. It’s the meat of the movie, and yet everything just happens randomly, which also makes every scene a lot less funny than they otherwise could be. There is no explanation for how they get from one part of their adventure to the next - implausibility rules, meaning the screenplay throws out all rules, order and logic. That is supposed to be funny in and of itself. This strategy doesn’t even work in satires, it definitely doesn’t work in a comedy that’s trying to pull in a real mother-daughter relationship.

This is Goldie Hawn’s first feature movie in fifteen years. Many have asked why she picked such a bad movie, but Schumer tells the story that she just wore her down, and I can also see the appeal. There’s a little bit of raunchy comedy but not a lot (especially compared to recent Hollywood comedies), there’s adventure comedy, and the sweet and relatable element of mother-daughter bonding. It’s just too bad that we couldn’t have got all of that into something with a better written story.

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