Amy Schumer’s brand of comedy relies a lot on honesty mixed with awkwardness, but in her latest film, Snatched, she goes above and beyond. Snatched is a knock-down drag-out, gut-busting good time. Schumer not only stars, but executively produces the film. And only such a crazy, perverted mind like hers can make the greeting at your multiplex feel so welcome, or the whale cum so hilariously dirty.
For Snatched, Amy Schumer pulls the icon that is Goldie Hawn out of retirement, with Hawn’s last film being 15 years ago in The Banger Sisters. Clearly Schumer struck gold by picking Goldie as her comedy partner here, as the two easily play off each other and hit the right rhythm when it comes to humor. Hawn’s character can be a slight cliché since she portrays an overly cautious mother, cats included. But Hawn plays it to the hilt and holds her own against Schumer.
The film is directed by Jonathan Levy, who adds to his body of eclectic work which includes 50/50 and Warm Bodies. Katie Dippold, who co-wrote the film, has explained the movie is loosely based on a trip she took with her own mother.
For the big screen travelogue, Schumer plays Emily, a woman who is struggling with adulthood while Hawn embodies her overly cautious, Dateline-watching, and lonely cat-loving mother. When Emily finds herself dumped by her boyfriend right before the two are to leave on a South American vacation, she persuades her mother to travel on the chaotic journey with her. Their vacation seems normal with plenty of mother and daughter bickering between the two before Schumer’s character foolishly trusts a fellow traveler who leads them astray.
Before long, trouble ensues when the pair are kidnapped. Repeatedly. They also escape a few times in-between. It gets complicated.
The film does a very good job of weaving well-crafted jokes with slapstick humor and plenty of oh-man-they-didn’t moments. Whether it is Schumer’s character’s dumbfounded realizations at becoming an accidental killer or Hawn’s motherly ways when it comes to the removal of her daughter’s tapeworm while in South America, the film goes to some grim places in the search of laughs. The film also mixes wit with raunch, which is evident from the film’s first scene, where we assume Schumer, who is confessing personal details about herself, is shopping with a girlfriend before it is revealed that she is instead an oversharing self-absorbed store clerk.
Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack also lend their comedy talents as a scene-stealing twosome who are prepared for anything. Sykes deliver some the funniest lines in the film as an overprotective partner while Cusack, who’s character doesn’t speak a word in the picture, has a special ops background and the reflexes of a ninja.
For all the funny that the film offers, the movie is at times a little culturally insensitive, putting some of its South American characters in roles that at best can be described as stereotypes. However, before the film becomes an endless raunchy laugh factory, or veers into some truly lowbrow offense, it stops and makes a 180 to become poignant, touching upon the generic struggles that exist within most mother and daughter relationships.
A scene in the Amazon with Schumer and Hawn is touching as the two realize that neither one is happy with their relationship. Hawn’s character explains the hurt and pain of letting go and not feeling needed nor wanted anymore by her daughter while Schumer’s character tackles the harsh, but sharp criticism that only her mother can deliver.
This central relationship highlights the real challenges that unite and divide mothers and daughters. As their surroundings fall apart, these two discover that both want what is best for the other and they find each other, thanks in part to Schumer’s character’s newfound Capoeira skills.
Snatchedis clearly a hilarious home run for Amy Schumer, as well as a wonderful return to the screen for Goldie Hawn. What a nice Mother’s Day treat for the mature—okay immature—audience.
Snatched is in theaters on Friday, May 12.