Film Review: Snatched

I have a confession to make. I’m not a massive Amy Schumer fan. Maybe it’s because I’m an (almost) middle-aged man and not really her target audience, maybe it’s because truth told, I haven’t seen that much of her work and therefore not given myself the chance to warm to her. But maybe, I wondered, is it simply because she just isn’t that funny? Whatever the reason, Snatched, rather surprisingly, changed my mind.

It stars Schumer as Emily Middleton, a brattish woman-child who takes her mum Linda (a return to action after a 15 year Hollywood hiatus for Goldie Hawn) on a package holiday to Ecuador after her fledgling rock star boyfriend dumps her because of all the ‘pussy’ he’s going to get. “Are you sure you don’t mean inspiration?” Emily suggests… “No, pussy.”

Her mum and her have drifted apart. Emily is self-centered and lives her life so she can post flattering photos of herself on Instagram while mum Linda has locks all over her house and hasn’t slept with anyone since her husband left her. Throw in an acrophobic piano-teaching adult son who still calls her ‘mama’ and Ecuador is way too risky for the nervy Linda. And she’s right to be concerned. Their dream holiday quickly goes awry after Schumer falls for hot Brit James (nicely played by Tom Bateman) who leads the pair into the arms of some rather unpleasant locals. As the duo try to escape the clutches of their Latin American kidnappers, the film charts not only their physical journey but also their emotional one as both mother and daughter realise how much they have taken each other for granted.

Yes, the plot is ridiculous and clichéd, and yes, there are large sections that simply don’t gel; nutjob explorer Roger is a complete misfire while special ops holiday-makers Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes are criminally underwritten. But Snatched is genuinely funny, peppered with enough genuine belly laughs to forgive its shortcomings. The scene where Schumer is dumped is arguably its highpoint, whilst the misunderstanding between “welcome” and “whalecum” as Emily and Linda arrive in their hotel had me spilling my nachos. No, not metaphorically, I actually spilt my nachos.

And it all boils down to the fact that Schumer and Hawn are really decent comediennes. Their timing is good and they have enough likeability to keep the plot holes firmly at the back of your mind. So you know what? I was wrong, Now I’ve spent a bit more time with Schumer, I am her target audience and she is funny. Consider me Snatched.

Rating: 3/5

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