The last time we saw Goldie Hawn, she was goof-ballin’ it up in 2002’s The Banger Sisters. So what prompted her to come out of ‘retirement’? The chance to play Amy Schumer’s mom in Snatched. And though the movie is too uneven to be considered memorable or even legitimately worthwhile, the same can’t be said for Hawn, who quickly makes us wish we hadn’t lost these past 15 years.
Hawn is Linda Middleton, a “cat lady” living with her reclusive grown son, while her daughter Emily (Schumer) is living a life that makes Linda’s look positively rewarding. Freshly dumped and fired, and quickly learning that all of her “friends” find her either repulsive or annoying, Emily realizes she doesn’t have anyone to join her on a planned vacation to Ecuador…so she calls mom.
Linda, the consummate worrier, refuses at first, but eventually Emily talks her into coming along for the ride. Shortly after arriving at the resort (and after a particularly hilarious off-color joke involving the word “welcome”), Emily meets a dashing young man who invites her out for a night on the beach. While he’s taking Emily and Linda on a countryside tour the next day, however, they discover it was just a set-up, as his friends kidnap them and toss them into a cell. After a particularly easy (and surprisingly violent) escape, the mom-daughter road trip hijinks begin as they try to make it to the US Consulate.
Hawn and Schumer, to their credit, are excellent together and share a genuine chemistry. It’s a shame, though, that they didn’t have better material. Screenwriter Katie Dippold, who gave us 2016’s brilliant The Heat but is also responsible for last year’s god-awful Ghostbusters reboot, veered toward the predictable and bland with Snatched. The first half is little more than a showcase for Schumer’s own unique brand of raunchy humor (some of which finds its mark), while the second half dissolves into a heavy-handed mother-and-child bonding exercise rife with gratuitous hugs and tears, and light on much of anything else.
Director Jonathan Levine, who helmed 2011’s underrated 50/50, can’t seem to figure out what he’s doing here. The halting pace keeps the movie from ever getting out of second gear, and he bounces the genre back and forth from ribald comedy to anxious kidnap thriller to syrupy schmaltz-fest…and does none of them especially well.
All is not lost, though. Snatched helps us not only remember the comic genius of Goldie Hawn but also do a little happy dance that maybe she’s coming back full-time. Hopefully next time she’ll pick a better movie.