Amy Schumer stars as Emily Middleton, a single woman who’s obsessed with taking selfies, who’s too consumed with accumulating likes on social media sites to take the time to call her dear, sweet mom, Linda. Goldie Hawn, who stars as Linda, is a divorcee who spends the majority of her time at home with her cats. The mother-daughter duo are polar opposites; as much as Emily loves being the focus of others’ attention, Linda has resigned herself to a life of loneliness.
When Emily’s boyfriend suddenly breaks up with her, she finds herself doubly devastated. Not only has she been ditched, but she now has no one to join her on her upcoming vacation to Ecuador. With non-refundable tickets in hand, she’s forced to bring her reluctant mom along to Ecuador, hardly the romantic vacation she envisioned.
As adventurous as Emily is, Linda is overly cautious. Even though her daughter is grown now, Linda can’t help but continue to treat Emily as if she’s still a child. Their respective ideas of what makes a good vacation are as different as they are, and no matter how much sage advice Linda offers, Emily is the queen of making bad choices.
After meeting a sexy stranger in a bar, Emily is starting to feel like herself again, but Linda is skeptical. As Emily ventures on a day date with her new romantic interest, Linda reluctantly tags along, mistrustful of her daughter going on a date in a foreign country. Before their afternoon comes to an end, the Middleton girls find themselves “snatched”.
Linda and Emily’s first priority is to find safety, of course, but as they are entangled in a series of comedic situations, it becomes apparent that it’s equally important that they need to work on their relationship with one another. Emily feels smothered by Linda, annoyed that her mom is so critical of her, while Linda keeps wishing her daughter was close to her like she was when she was a little girl. Can the pair address their issues with one another, and can they escape their kidnappers?
In the meantime, Linda’s son Jeffrey, played by Ike Barinholtz, is trying his best to save his “Ma-Ma” and sister, making numerous phone calls to the federal agent assigned to their case. The ongoing communication between Jeffrey and Agent Russell, played by Bashir Salahuddin, offers some of the most entertaining dialogue in the film.
A lot of people in the theater laughed throughout the movie, including my friend Amy, who joined me. I wasn’t feeling it though. I find Amy Schumer’s acting to be downright annoying, and her character is so unbelievably shallow. (I didn’t blame her boyfriend, who, by the way, plays the Dad on the TV show Fresh Off the Boat, for breaking up with her.) I know I was supposed to view Goldie Hawn’s character as being the overbearing mom, but I thought her advice was spot on. (I don’t know if that means I’m getting old. Maybe.)
I’ve loved Goldie Hawn ever since I saw her in the movie Overboard years ago, so I’ll cut her some slack for this film. Her acting was fine, but it wasn’t the best performance of hers I’ve seen. Amy Schumer, however, is now on probation with me; if I see one more movie with her where she plays the same self-absorbed, overly-talkative ditz, I’m through watching her movies. The character who disturbed me the most was Jeffrey, who looked really creepy. (Remember when we were little, and they taught us about stranger danger in elementary school? He looked like my mental image of the stranger driving around in a van offering candy to kids who were willing to help him find his puppy.)
When the movie ended, Amy, who noticed I wasn’t laughing much, commented to me, “I’m so sorry you didn’t like it.” Amy shared, “I thought it was the perfect movie to make me giggle.” (Obviously she doesn’t share my sentiments regarding Amy Schumer. Perhaps it’s because they share the same first name.) She continued, “I liked it a lot! It was a nice movie to see around Mother’s Day because of the mother-daughter theme. I liked that it was mindless entertainment, and that it wasn’t too serious.” The part that Amy liked best, which I agree with, is the “story line about how a mother’s bond with her children never fades, no matter what.”
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Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Jonathan Levine
Actors: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Kim Caramele
Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes