The career ascendancy of Amy Schumer over the past few years has been following the Hollywood leftist blueprint. From standup comedy she took on bit roles, and segued to a Comedy Central program. Her stances on feminist issues were proper by industry standards and she became a regular presenter at awards shows.
Her views expressed on social media were met with approval. She made the appropriate connections — becoming good friends with Jennifer Lawrence, and Lena Dunham. She posed nude to earn raves and combat body-shaming. She was granted the chance to team with honored comedic director Judd Apatow to film “Trainwreck”. Following that success she joined her relative, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to become a gun control proponent.
This weekend she stars alongside longtime comedic actress Goldie Hawn, in “Snatched”. During the production Amy did her very best to signal her proper views. Following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Schumer announced she was removing any scenes involving guns. What connection this had to Central Florida, or how this would in any way assuage the pain felt by the victim’s families is a question you are not allowed to ask. Just praise her monumental gesture.
All of this should have paved her path to becoming A-list royalty. However with her new release it appears she may not be ready for her coming out cotillion. What was at one point looked at as a comedy worth seeing has become regarded more as just another release. Some critics have noted Hawn and Schumer work well together, but they do not have enough material and plot line to work with. The issue? The script was written by Schumer.
Looking at some of the PR you get the sense of studio desperation — or at least reaching to patch holes. One shallow ploy was to arrange for co-star Goldie Hawn to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To clarify, these are not lifetime achievement awards — they are purchased PR moments by the studio. Note the timing of Hawn – 71 years of age, and not appearing in a film for 16 years — suddenly being “awarded”, the week before her comeback appearance. There is perfunctory media coverage of the unveiling ceremony, with the phrase, “Her new film opens May 12!” always included.
The release date also is pure ballyhoo, as the attempt here is to have the mother-daughter plotline tying in to Mother’s Day weekend. They have even gone to the length of referring to the film as a “Mom-Com”. This is at best stunt scheduling to draw a few unwitting extra ticket buyers, but will do nothing to lead to long term sales.
The two actresses have given numerous interviews, presented at The MtV Movie Awards, and they are making all the talk show appearances possible, selling everyone on their chemistry and witty banter. It all feels rather insistent. Schumer saying, “Even if you have triggering Mom issues, you’ll still enjoy this movie,” is not likely to draw additional ticket buyers.
We are told how Amy absolutely fought to have Hawn in the movie, and Goldie was leaping at an opportunity work with such a talented actress, etc. Except, there is a disconnect in their patter. First, Goldie makes these glowing pronouncements in Entertainment Weekly, fawning over her partner:
- The real lure was her costar, whom she’d come to admire after seeing Trainwreck. “I loved it,” Hawn says. “I saw Amy’s range and her brilliance. She’s a funny, smart person who can also make you cry. I didn’t care about doing something that doesn’t stimulate me. But this is Amy. To be matched with someone so deeply instinctive, naturally funny, and incredibly brilliant? It’s a great coup.”
During their Today Show visit, with Samantha Guthrie, Schumer details how she got Goldie Hawn to appear. They had shared a flight together, and after landing she approached the actress about appearing in the film — who had no idea who she was:
- “I thought you were the cutest thing. Amy came up and she was just, you know, sweet, you know, and adorable and all of it, and I hadn’t seen the show,” Hawn said, referencing the comedian’s hit show Inside Amy Schumer.
It’s almost as if people trained in playing make-believe are selling us a fable!
All the earnest posturing, and all of Schumer’s social signaling, have not delivered the accolades. The reviews of “Snatched” have come in and mostly those range from tepid to disappointed. While negative reviews are generally not enough to entirely kill a movie’s prospects this is the kind of film that would benefit from glowing praise. “Trainwreck” was a success largely because of strong reviews and good word on the street, which gave it longterm success in theaters. “Snatched” is receiving no such a boost.
In fact, despite all of her social posturing, Schumer is getting some blowback over what some regard as problematic content in the film. For instance, Vanity Fair gave a negative review of the movie and described it as being “Laden with some cultural ugliness.” And they were hardly the only ones, as numerous writers took exception with the “offensive” cultural presentation of foreign people.
Those normally supportive scribes would be needed to pump up the interest. As it stands “Snatched” will be trampled by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2”, and looks to possibly lose against a new “King Arthur”, also debuting to yawns this weekend. Finishing third, and struggling to make $20 million is possible, and when measured against “Trainwreck” it will be regarded as a disappointment.
In the interview with one outlet they gave the best guidance possible: “Here’s one thing the mother-daughter pair agree on: when you go to see ‘Snatched,’ sneak in the booze.”