Snatched shows why Hollywood is failing female moviegoers
OPINION: Why is it so hard to find a good girls'-night-out movie?
It's not rocket science (although rocket science can certainly draw people to the movies, as Hidden Figures deftly proved).
It just needs an ensemble cast of women doing and saying things that are funny, interesting and vaguely relatable. I feel like Samantha Irby could write it. Or Jami Attenberg. (Ann Patchett? Roxane Gay, maybe?)
Sorry. My mind is wandering. Kind of the way it did Saturday night while I was watching Snatched and searching for something to occupy my brain between Wanda Sykes scenes.
Snatched is the new comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer as a mother-daughter duo who get kidnapped during a vacation in Ecuador. Sykes and her sidekick, Joan Cusack, help rescue them.
* Snatched's Amy Schumer talks mothers, getting old and our fear of funny women
* Movie Review: Snatched - lazy comedy fails to give Schumer, Hawn chance to shine
* Goldie Hawn: Snatched brings back the star who ditched Hollywood for happiness
* Goldie Hawn set to team up with Amy Schumer for new comedy
A group of 20 mums from my kids' school planned a girls' night out for dinner, drinks and Snatched as a pre-Mother's Day treat to ourselves (syncing our calendars required actual rocket science).
My husband, a movie critic, warned us that the movie was mediocre. We all agreed that was largely beside the point.
Ever since the success of Bridesmaids, I go into female-driven comedies expecting to hate about a third of the movie (I would bring a book if the lighting were better).
The previews we saw during Snatched reminded me why. Girls Trip and Rough Night both appear to use the now-signature blend of somebody's wacky sexual fetish plus somebody wronged by a man plus somebody losing bladder/bowel control.
Male-dominated movies rely on their fair share of formulaic raunch too (The Hangover movies, the Ted movies, Old School, etc). But if guys want to go see a screen full of mostly guys doing cool and/or funny and/or brave stuff, they can watch the latest Star Wars release. Or the latest Bourne film. Or "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve" or "Ocean's Thirteen." Or pretty much any of the best picture winners from the last decade.
A screen full of mostly women is infinitely harder to come by, and the offerings, lately, feel like a series of tweaks to the same general shock-them-with-your-candour script. Or, even less inspiring, a series of tweaks to male-dominated hits, i.e., Ghostbusters.
An all-female spinoff of the Ocean's movies is reportedly in the works, starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Awkwafina. Fine. I'm there. With my girlfriends.
But women are worthy of original scripts too. We shouldn't have to feast on reboots.
My friends and I agreed to regroup for Girls Trip. Maybe it will be hilarious and clever and not feature a tape worm (a low point in Snatched). I enjoyed Bad Moms last year. Absurd can certainly work, especially if there's some heart at the centre.
But I'd love to see more female-dominated films that centre on more than our bodily functions. I'd love to see our friendships, our adventures, our inner lives, our outer dialogues – writ large for all the world (including, 20 friends and myself) to see.