Overboard review: Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez lead the cast of this very average 2018 update of the 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell comedy.
Overboard review by Andrew Gaudion.
You do often how to wonder how Hollywood producers go around choosing which films they want to remake. In the case of something like Overboard, the 1987 screwball comedy starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, you can’t help but feel a producer was simply flipping through TV channels late at night and stumbled across it and just thought ‘yeah, sure, why not?’ The resulting remake would seem to suggest the decision making was just that sophisticated, as aside from swapping the genders around, there’s very little here that’s all that inspired or creative.
Anna Faris stars as Katie, a single mother of three daughters who is studying to be a nurse whilst also balancing multiple jobs in order to support her family. She sees an opportunity to lighten her workload when a spoiled and arrogant playboy who was cruel to her, Leo (Eugenio Derbez), ends up losing all memory of who he is. Katie hatches a plan to convince Leo that he is her husband, allowing her to use him to help support her family, giving her more time to study. But, will this plan in fact bring them closer together?
The original Overboard is one of those 80’s comedies that hasn’t particularly aged well or was all that successful on its initial release. That may well be a better reason to remake something than a bona-fide classic, but unfortunately this go-around isn’t too interested in making a film that’s all that funny or all that engaging.
For a long stretch into its touch too long 112-minute runtime (90 minutes is your friend, modern comedy, get in touch), everything falls very flat, from the jokes to the characters themselves. Neither Katie or Leo are all that likeable, with Katie’s scheming just coming across as irresponsible and childish, while Derbez struggles with the swagger of Leo’s playboy ways.
The film does find something of a stride when Leo loses his memory and enters Katie’s home under the impression that he is her husband and the father of her children. Derbez is much better playing the character as a more confused and lost individual, and proves quite apt at slapstick comedy. Faris is also very charming throughout, even if her character is never that likeable, and the two play off pretty well against each other, particularly when the script becomes more focused on being a light family drama rather than a comedy.
Overall the film is more successful when it plays up its similarities to a ‘Telenovela’. It’s never particularly very funny (pretty much all the gags fall flat) but there’s the occasional odd spot of inspiration when it delves into the more soap opera elements that it clearly has an interest in.
All-in-all however, this new Overboard never really kicks into gear, despite the efforts of the charms of Farris and Derbez. You’ll find yourself cringing at some of the attempts at gags, with some moments really only evoking a pity laughs as the film moves towards its predictable finale. As it stands, this screwball remake is a bit of a damp squib.
Overboard review by Andrew Gaudion, June 2018.
Overboard is released in UK cinemas on Friday 22nd June 2018.