If there’s one thing Snatched can be proud of, it’s earning the bragging rights of being the vehicle that lured Goldie Hawn back to cinema following a 15-year absence; her last vehicle was the forgettable 2002 comedy The Banger Sisters opposite Susan Sarandon. The type of performer that instantly ignites the screen with the simplicity of her widened smile, Hawn’s comedic abilities are above and beyond what Katie Dippold’s script allows but, ever the professional she continues to be, she certainly elevates the lowest denominator of displayed humour to a level worthy of an audible chuckle.
Unafraid of taking the lower comedy road and, like co-star Amy Schumer, effortless in her lack of pretension and vanity, Snatched proves mildly successful because of its leading duo and their push-pull dynamic that manages to balance this uneasy comedy.
It all starts off so positively though as we witness Schumer’s Emily Middleton in prime self-absorption mode at her retail job where she treats customers as if they’re there to help her, and not the other way around. Shortly thereafter she’s learning her rockstar beau (Randall Park) now has grander access to a wider array of female genitalia and he’s hastily calling time on their union, leaving her with an extra ticket for an Ecuadorian getaway the two had planned.
Given that Emily is suitably lazy and obnoxious, but in that alarmingly innocent, malice-less way that Schumer has perfected as her character brand, she’s saddled herself with a non-refundable package so, naturally, it falls on her overly-cautious shut-in of a mother (Hawn) to put the “fun back in non-refundable” and join her on her South American travels.
We all know where this vacation is heading, and the initial moments of the two’s kidnapping still maintains a sense of screwball silliness, even if the reasoning for their capture is barely explained and is used as more of a ruse to place the actresses in further outlandish set-pieces; somehow the accidental killing spree of Ecuadorian thugs by the trigger-happy butter-fingers of Emily earns more laughter than a bizarre physical sequence involving the coasting of a tapeworm from inside her body. But there’s the sense that Dippold (whose previous writing credits of the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy collaboration The Heat and a slew of Parks and Recreation episodes prove she’s capable of better) and director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, The Night Before) weren’t entirely sure how to neatly segue from one comedy sketch to another, and as far as the believable chemistry between Schumer and Hawn can travel, the final destination is one that requires a safe landing – something that feels surprisingly out of hand for talent that have guided comedy to fruition prior.
There’s no denying that Snatched is a bit of a mess but it’s a harmless one at that, and given how much I genuinely like both Schumer and Hawn it’s difficult to not be swept up in their crude nonsense. The honesty, bravery and surprising heart that Schumer displayed so openly in 2015’s Trainwreck is sadly nowhere to be found here, and perhaps just a touch of each could’ve helped Snatched from being just another females-behaving-badly feature – though a shamelessly amusing one at that.