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Review: Schumer’s ‘Snatched’ can’t get a laugh to save its life

Not even Wanda Sykes can save this mess.

A ‘MomCom’ film has the potential to be hilarious. It’s largely in part due to how easy it is to relate to being put into a whacky situation with your mother. The two characters have different approaches on life and the situations it brings, but once they learn to work together, everything is alright in the end. When it comes to Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, it’s easy to tell this is the closest this mother-daughter duo has ever been. There’s little chemistry, and even less humor.

Schumer plays the self-absorbed Emily Middleton, who gets dumped as the film begins. It’s a painful scene to watch — not because you feel sorry for Schumer’s character, but just because there’s absolutely nothing to laugh at, despite the best efforts of the film. It’s a shame that Fresh Off The Boat‘s Randall Park’s role as Emily’s now ex-boyfriend, Michael, is diminished to a few minutes of screen time, all of which center around pussy jokes. It only gets worse from here.

Emily finds herself less emotionally torn over the breakup than concerned that she now can’t find anyone to go with her on her nonrefundable trip to Ecuador. Her mother Linda (Hawn) learns of Emily’s breakup over social media and convinces her daughter to come home after 18 years of being apart. It wouldn’t be surprising if Emily was put up for adoption at birth, because Schumer and Hawn have no chemistry. Whenever Snatched‘s writing tries to set them up for a joke, the pair never work together to deliver. (Granted, some of the film’s humor can transcend the terrible delivery, but most of Snatched‘s laughs come from veteran comedian Wanda Sykes as Ruth, and Joan Cusack as Barb.)

Schumer’s character eventually convinces her mother to leave their agoraphobic brother behind and come to Ecuador with her. Once the trip begins, Emily is eager to get away from her mother and quickly finds James (Tom Bateman,) and the pair begin a relationship. James, Emily and Linda go for a ride the next day and are involved in an accident, where Emily and Linda get abducted. Snatched is as humorous as it is believable.

The rest of the film revolves around Schumer and Hawn being at odds and learning to work together to escape captivity and find their way back to safety in the Ecuadorian jungle. As the film progresses, there’s very little plot progression and an inordinate amount of awkward, unfunny moments.

Schumer acts as if each scene is an Inside Amy Schumer skit, but it doesn’t work. This isn’t a two minute sketch, and Schumer’s exaggerated delivery and expressions just make her character even more unlikable. She’s hilarious in her TV show, but needs a bit more polish to her acting skills to have this work for longer than twenty minutes.

The scenes with Sykes and Cusack are limited, but prove that Schumer can’t hold her own when it comes to the grander scale of cinema. Sykes delivers true, laugh out loud moments as the butch Ruth, there in Ecuador with Cusack, who’s her ‘friend‘ Barb.

Schumer and Hawn had the potential to unite for a comedy film that gave vitality to both their careers. Snatched failed the viewers and the actors in that regard. The film’s short, hour and a half runtime feels twice as long thanks to a plot that goes nowhere and jokes that are few and far between. One of the year’s worst.

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Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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