Ugh. Schumie. The Schumes. The Schumster. Get it together.
To quote Jon Lovitz’, “The Critic” of 1990s fame, “It stinks.”
BQB here with a review of Snatched.
Believe it or not, there was a time when I was a fan of Amy Schumer. Her Comedy Central sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, was comedy gold, with quotable lines, memorable scenes, and took equal opportunity shots at everyone.
Alas, the Schumer humor did not translate well into movies. Her first film, Trainwreck, was in my opinion, a literal train wreck, the only saving grace coming from the ancillary characters of the film. Had it not been for LeBron James, Bill Hader, John Cena and Colin Quinn, I’d of just asked for my money back.
In this, Amy’s second film, the supporting cast once again makes the movie somewhat bearable though again, just somewhat.
Amy, apparently hellbent on proving to the world that she’s a one-trick pony, once again plays the same adult female loser character. Fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend just before a long scheduled trip to a resort in Ecuador, Amy, or Emily in this film, convinces her mother, Linda, an overly cautious cat lady, to be her travel companion.
Blah, blah, blah, the ladies are kidnapped and it becomes a madcap romp as they travel through the rainforest on their way to safety.
Along the way, they encounter a cast of characters that keep me from marching into the projectionist’s booth and asking if they can just put on another showing of Guardians of the Galaxy instead.
Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack play a tourist and her retired special ops Army buddy who come to the rescue. Their scenes are mildly humorous but they are underutilized.
Ike Barinholtz plays Emily’s shut-in agoraphobic brother, Jeffrey, a man who is too scared to leave the house yet must somehow cut through bureaucratic red tape at the U.S. state department in search of help. He squares off against consulate officer Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin) in a series of scenes that remind snooty Americans that the world is not like America and they should not expect people to go out of their way to save them if they get themselves mired in some third world deep shit.
Meanwhile, Christopher Meloni plays an incompetent adventurer who at times, seems like he’s the answer to the girls’ problems and at other times, like he might be the one in need of assistance.
You know, 3.5 readers, one of the worst things an entertainer can do is get too political, and I think the Schumes made that mistake in recent years. She became a media darling. To the Hollywood press, she could do no wrong and I feel like that may have taken her focus off her number one goal of being a comedian, namely, to be funny and make people laugh.
I laughed one and only one time – at a tapeworm gag that was pure gross out humor, and even then, it was the comedic stylings of the man who played Amy’s doctor that got me.
Amy’s schtick? “Oh look at me! I’m a wayward drunk adult who farts and acts like a child! Vaginas are hilarious! Oh wait, vaginas are now hilarious in a tropical environment! Tee, hee hee!”
Above all else, the film comes off as somewhat hypocritical in light of Amy’s public activism:
- She’s against conservative immigration policies, yet portrays South Americans as criminal caricatures who sit around thinking up plots to kidnap people all day.
- She often laments that men are pigs who only care about women for their looks and aren’t able to see the beauty that dwells deep within an imperfect female form. Then she goes and casts two boyfriends in this film who are so handsome they look like they were chiseled out of magic clay by Michelangelo himself.
- She’s pro-gun control, yet the guns are blazing throughout the film.
- She’s against judging people for their life choices, yet her judgmental, cranky mother is the only voice of reason in the movie and the only one in the movie making the tough decisions necessary to keep the duo from getting killed.
The film isn’t completely without value. I did connect with the back and forth between Linda and Emily. As grown adults who still maintain relationships with their elderly parents can attest, parents never stop parenting, even in old age. Unfortunately, sometimes the criticism that was necessary to steer a child into adulthood can come across as insulting to the adult child. Elderly parents can’t switch themselves out of parent mode and into friend mode and adult children just see the elderly parents’ criticisms as non-stop accusations of incompetence (which are accurate, in Emily’s case.)
On the flip side, we can also see that elderly parents might sometimes have good reason to be so cranky with their adult children. Throughout the film, Emily yearns for her mother’s validation and approval and as the viewer you wonder when Linda/Goldie is going to just bitch slap Emily/Amy and yell, “Bitch! You are a grown ass woman! Take control of your life because I’m too old and tired to carry you on my back anymore!”
Doesn’t happen. Should have happened. Would have made the movie more enjoyable.
The best part of the movie is that this will hopefully lead to a Goldie Hawn renaissance or Goldie-aissance. Back in the day, the Goldster was the it girl, starring as the lead in many a comedy. Private Benjamin, Wildcats, Overboard, and Bird on a Wire all come to mind. (Note to Amy: Goldie managed to make people laugh without talking about her vagina every two seconds.)
Goldie’s may be older, and wiser, and has apparently undergone various surgeries to keep her face from drooping in her old age, but ultimately, she’s still got acting chops and we can only hope that Hollywood will recognize this and put her in some films that don’t suck. After all, if her longtime beau Kurt Russell can hang with the Guardians of the Galaxy, then surely there are some more roles out there for Goldie.
STATUS: Bordeline shelf-worthy but only because of the supporting cast. The Schumes needs to come up with non-vaginal jokes if she’s going to have any long lasting staying power.