There have been complaints in early reviews about Snatched being disposable junk. Huh? Let’s back up a minute. The comedy stars Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer as mom and daughter – those words alone should mean something for film enthusiasts, and not just because Mother’s Day weekend. Schumer, the baby-faced bad girl of 2.0 comedy, is teaming up with Hawn, a laugh-inducing golden girl since she won an Oscar for her breakthrough role in 1969’s Cactus Flower. So, yes, we’ll allow that this female raunch-com is built on a script by Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) that would have to go a long way to qualify as flimsy. And that director Jonathan Levine (50/50) is too often flying blind. But watching this dynamic comic duo mix it up on screen – that is not be sniffed at.
The caper plot, such as it is, evaporates while you’re watching it. Schumer plays Emily, a bachelorette who’s just lost her retail job and been dumped by her musician boyfriend (Randall Park). What to do now that she’s stuck with two non-refundable vacation tickets to Ecuador? Call mom, of course. Linda (Hawn), divorced and living with cats and her agoraphobic son (Ike Barinholtz), is talked into it. Soon the two are poolside arguing about sunblock. She frets when Emily hooks up with a Brit hottie (Tom Bateman), who catches Emily doing an impromptu douche. The real panic ensues when mom and daughter are kidnapped by – cue the racial stereotypes – a nefarious gangster (Oscar Jaenada) and his thugs, leading to an escape run through the jungles of the Amazon.
So no, it’s not exactly one for the ages. Schumer, as star and screenwriter, made such an impact mining her own life for edgy fun and feeling in 2015’s Trainwreck, with the estimable Judd Apatow directing, that we got pretty damned spoiled. Snatched never reaches those fizzy heights. The pleasures here come almost exclusively from Schumer and Hawn playing off each other like the rock stars of comedy they are. Hawn hasn’t made a film since 2002’s The Banger Sisters, but the timing she showed in such hits as Private Benjamin, Shampoo, Overboard, Death Becomes Her and The First Wives Club, hasn’t dimmed with the years. Best of all, Schumer’s love and respect for her costar shines through every frame. Even in the reduced circumstances of this less-than-stellar comedy, that’s a sight to see.