Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema: Snatched

Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema: Snatched

Article excerpt

We love Amy Schumer. Fact. And we love Goldie Hawn. Fact. But can we love Snatched? Not so much, if at all. Perhaps the addition of 'if at all' is unnecessary, and rather mean. But it's done now.

There are a couple of decent jokes, it's true, but they are 1) all in the trailer and 2) happen within the first ten minutes, after which there is every chance you will 1) lose the will to live and 2) wish you'd opted for Guy Ritchie's King Arthur. But, as we are so often warned, do be careful what you wish for. From what I've heard, King Arthur may not only make you lose the will to live but may also make you regret ever having lived. (Too much again? Done now.)

Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and written by Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters), the film opens with Amy as Emily, ostensibly. In truth, it's Amy as Amy, but we love Amy as Amy, like I said, and love her bawdy, embarrassing loser shtick, but the trick is to allow her to run with it, and not have her puff laboriously uphill until she becomes plain annoying, as happens here. At the outset, she's a sales assistant who is fired from her job in a dress shop -- 'I wouldn't work here if you paid me!' she says, which is one of the two decent jokes -- and then her boyfriend dumps her. He wants to play the field. There are hundreds of pussies out there, he says. But you can use my pussy a hundred times! she remonstrates. 'Not so inspiring,' he retorts. That's the second one.

But now the Amy that is Emily (ostensibly) has a problem. She and her boyfriend were due to take a trip to Ecuador and the holiday is non-refundable. No friend will agree to accompany her so she appeals to her mother Linda (Hawn). Linda is a divorcee who lives with Emily's agoraphobic brother (Ike Barinholtz) and, of course, many beloved cats. I once, genuinely, met an older divorcee who owned not a single cat, beloved or otherwise. I know. I was as amazed as you are.

This is, essentially, a buddy-buddy caper movie featuring two characters who are initially estranged -- Emily rarely contacts her mother -- and who are also opposites personality-wise: Emily is up for anything and out there; Linda is super-cautious and suburban. It's a perfectly good idea for a comedy, so much so it's been done to death. …

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