Overboard (2018)

When it’s over, Sean turns to me and says ‘I know you recently crowned SPF-18 the worst movie ever, but what do you think, could this usurp it?’ And the thing is yeah – he’s not wrong, though I must uncomfortably remind him that while we watched SPF-18 for “free” (Netflix), we paid to watch this shit. Which makes its awfulness that much harder to swallow.

Sure the 1987 version was horribly sexist, but it was also soaked in charm. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell had major chemistry, and Garry Marshall knew how to wring a scene for laughs. In the 2018 remake, it’s hard not to compare Anna Faris to Goldie Hawn, and it’s impossible for her not to lose, and by quite a large margin. Hawn has big presence and effortless likeability. Faris has her wide mouth and not much else.

In 2018, the roles are reversed. Kate (Faris) is the hard-working widow, and Leo (Eugenio Derbez) the pompous, spoiled brat. She meets him one day vacuuming up a glitter bomb on his beautiful yacht, and failing to meet his impossible standards, is MV5BZjNkOTNjMjktZGI5Yi00ODJjLWFhMzQtZWQ2YTU3NDBiNzRmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg2MjUxNjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1502,1000_AL_thrown overboard, unpaid. He later suffers an accident and ends up unidentified in a hospital with amnesia (his evil sister refusing to claim him so she can inherit the family business) so Kate, egged on by her best friend Theresa (Eva Longoria),decides to claim him as her husband and force him into a life of servitude in order to extort retribution. Nothing about this new life feels familiar to Leo, and he’s not immediately great at working a back-breaking job, doing all the housework, caring for 3 kids, and getting nothing in return.

Eugenio Derbez is a curious choice to play the leading man here. He’s a big star in Mexico but virtually unknown to the rest of North America. He’s also too old for Anna Faris, and not handsome enough, and doesn’t seem at home in either end of his role’s spectrum – the rich playboy, or the blue-collar dad. Either Overboard got some major Mexican money and had to meet certain conditions, or they were courting the Mexican box office (indeed, that’s where it made half its money) hard. Either way, Derbez just doesn’t fit. And Anna Faris, while never my favourite, has something to offer, though that something was left on the table. She’s more adept at physical comedy, screwball stuff, and the script did not play to her strengths at all. The chemistry between them is non-existent. How did this thing even get off the ground?

Never mind the fact that the premise just hasn’t aged very well. I mean, she’s basically kidnapping a mentally disabled person and forcing him into slavery. And when she delivers a laundry list of chores for him to complete on top of his two jobs and caregiving responsibilities, it just comes off as mean. Which isn’t nearly as bad as how she comes off as a mother. First, the gall to complain that her mother (Swoozie Kurtz, whom I have never not loved) is not prepared to derail her whole life in order to care for Kate’s kids full-time. Um, they’re your kids Kate. I get that it’s tough to be a single parent, but it’s nobody’s responsibility but yours. Second, she constant reminds us how icky it is to leave her three young daughters alone with a strange man (the only thing she knows about him is that he’s a horndog douchebag, ie, not great babysitting material) and yet it happens over and over. Kate is a widow, apparently, though that’s mentioned once and forgotten. There is no mourning being done in her household – no mentions, no memories, no pictures even. So I get why she might “fall” for a provider type, someone to lessen her burden. But why would Leo fall for her? She’s so much worse than just your standard liar: she’s amoral and selfish and exploitative. This is not a love story you can root for and not a comedy you can laugh at. So what the heck’s the point?

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18 thoughts on “Overboard (2018)

  1. J.

    Good grief. Hollywood in shitty unnecessary remake shocker, eh?

    If I’m being kind for a minute, I can understand why they might think remaking some 30-odd year old flicks (if they really have to), but some, like this, just don’t need it. Nothing to do with Kurt and Goldie.

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  2. Liz A.

    Oh wow. I thought the original was cute, so I was going to give this one a try. Maybe not. (And, for the record, the worst movie ever is called Dear God. As in, “Dear God, why did they make this dreck?”)

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  3. calensariel

    Ok. I’m coming clean here… This version (even with a lot of the same dialog — I’ve wornout two copies of the original) can’t hold a candle to Kurt and Goldie. It was very endearing. But I was fascinated with Eugenio Derbez. Totally unfamiliar with him, but VERY caught up by his accent! LOL

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  4. Birgit

    OK, the original Overboard is cute and fun but I never would have thought they would make a remake. It’s really not that great a film but Hollywood executroids always scrape up something to make money. I have no desire to see this and feel bad that you paid money to see it. If I am sick or, truly, nothing else is on, I will watch it on the W network when it shows up there.

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  5. Colane Conundrum

    I agree: Why? The first movie came out in the late 1980s. Is that really so ancient as to require a remake? Are audiences so disconnected from the past that they need a modern retelling of every movie ever made?

    This seems like one of those ideas the boss would dismiss without thinking twice. “A remake of Overboard? People, please. I know I asked you shout out any ideas that leap to mind, but c’mon. I need you to take this brainstorming session seriously.”

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  6. Carrie Rubin

    I agree it wasn’t a great movie (and ugh to leaving your kids alone with a strange man!), but I have to admit, I find the lead actor appealing. Would like to see him in something more solid.

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  7. emmakwall

    “I mean, she’s basically kidnapping a mentally disabled person and forcing him into slavery.” – HA HA!

    The original with Kurt and Goldie WAS my childhood. I refuse to believe in this!!!

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