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Snatched: I Liked It

Snatched Plot Summary:

After her boyfriend (Randall Park) dumps her, aimless Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is stuck with a non-refundable trip to Equador, so she drags her neurotic mom (Goldie Hawn) along, and the two get embroiled in a chaotic kidnapping scheme.

Here’s what’s ironic about Snatched – not only did I like this film, but it makes me dislike Trainwreck even more.  I always said there was a good movie buried deep within Trainwreck.  This is that movie.  Is Snatched the greatest comedy ever made?  No, but unlike Trainwreck, which goes on for an UNFORGIVABLE amount of time, this was a crisp ninety-minute comedy.  Amy Schumer plays her exact same character from Trainwreck.  Maybe she’s not as smart here, but it’s essentially the same directionless, drowns herself in booze, blames other people character.

The first ten minutes were rough. I legitimately thought about walking out and emailing the powers at thepopbreak.com to say, “I really can’t do this one.  I’m sorry.” I’m dead serious on that. No joke. Amy Schumer plays Emily Middleton, a completely whiney and pathetic individual whose life goes to hell. Fired. Boyfriend dumps her. You get the drill. Does Emily blame herself though? No, of course not.There wasn’t an ounce of this character I wanted to root for. She was miserable. I was miserable. I wanted to desperately leave the theater. It’s not until Goldie Hawn comes into the picture where this movie picks up.

Thank you, Goldie Hawn. Thank you. Goldie Hawn is a damn pro. She reigns in Amy Schumer so we don’t get to that unbearable threshold, ala Trainwreck. This is a true buddy comedy.  Goldie Hawn plays the prototypical broken down neurotic mother who frets about locking her doors and has a hundred cats, but Hawn sells it. She’s funny. Her one-liners work. She’s an enjoyable character, even though another actress could have crashed and burned with this material. She’s like a more seasoned, refined Amy Schumer. Their chemistry works in spades, and it’s because of her mom where Emily becomes an actual character. When Emily decides to take her mom on this trip, we see something worthwhile in her. It comes from a good place. Now we can get on board with her character development instead of just despising her.

I’ve said before that Amy Schumer isn’t my cup of tea when it comes to comedy, but I give her a lot of credit in this movie. Comedy is hard work. Like any great comedian, some jokes will hit.  Some will miss. Schumer is fearless. She definitely puts time into her craft, which is something I can appreciate, unlike so many other comedies in recent years (Central Intelligence). She can certainly be relentless and annoying at times, but her batting average is actually pretty damn good in this film.

The supporting cast rounds this out nicely. Ike Barinholtz plays Emily’s brother, who’s like the younger version of Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers, but a nerd. It’s your standard cliché lives at home mama’s boy, but Barinholtz makes it work. He has a great back and forth with Bashir Salahuddin, who plays this grumpy, nonchalant guy from the US State Department. These were some of the best bits in the film.

You also have Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack, who’s especially funny, although their roles were forced in here beyond belief. One of the other main supporters was Roger, an American adventurer, played by Christopher Meloni. The concept of this character is really clever, but it could have been better. Meloni is game, but the material falls a bit flat.

Speaking of the material, director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, The Night Before) and screenwriter Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) do a good job of delivering solid jokes that don’t go on too long. They are like the anti-Apatow. Both of them have done a lot of hit or miss comedies, and that’s pretty much what we get here. There’s a few predictable moments, but the jokes that miss were never cringe worthy. You get your required fart/poop gags, but they were actually well timed. There’s also a very clever scene involving a tapeworm that was like something out of Alien. That was funny.

Even at ninety minutes, this feels a tad drawn out, but there’s definitely a lot of enjoyment to be had with this movie. The Mother’s Day release also worked well, as the mother/daughter relationship had a nice heart to it.

Maybe it was the ridiculously low expectations, but I don’t know what to tell you – I liked this movie.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)

Daniel Cohen
Daniel Cohen
Daniel Cohen likes movies and bagels, and that’s pretty much it. Aside from writing Box Office predictions, Daniel hosts the monthly Batman by the Numbers Podcast on the Breakcast feed. Speaking of Batman, If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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