There are far too many remakes nowadays. I somehow managed to never see the original Overboard (1987) starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and I haven’t really been inclined to. I rolled my eyes when I heard they were making Overboard (2018), and even after the trailers made me chuckle, I had low expectations. Though I’ve always been a sucker for rom-coms, and this film ended up being not only a lot of fun – but surprisingly endearing.
Maybe I hit my head, but I actually enjoyed Overboard (2018)
Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) is living the good life. He spends much of his time on his yacht, being served by tons of employees and enjoying the company of beautiful women. Kate (Anna Faris) comes to clean the boat’s carpets, and ends up getting into an argument with Leonardo…so when he washes up on shore with amnesia a few days later, she and Theresa (Eva Longoria) hatch a plot. Kate picks her “husband”, Leo, up from the hospital, and plans to use him to help her with paying bills, doing chores, and finding time to study for her nursing test.
Even without seeing the original film, the plot of the movie is predictable. Yet, the charm that Derbez manages to deliver along with the relationships he develops with Kate and her three daughters are genuinely enjoyable. While he doesn’t initially remember anything about his old life, he at first has a clear sense of his status (he yells at a nurse that he wants a nice sea bass, not the meat they’re trying to put in front of him). It takes a lot of convincing from Kate to get her plan going, but once Leo accepts his position and embraces it, the story is endearing. He speaks to his co-workers about how he feels, and when they all say they feel trapped in their marriages – which does feel a bit stereotypical of men – he takes that information and decides to try to be better at his life. This change is refreshing, and he totally embraces a role that is often depicted by a female actress where he works, cooks, shops, and does all the chores. It never feels like commentary, but just a change in our times that is nice to see on screen.
Let’s get Eugenio Derbez some more starring roles please…
While the romance that happens and the character arc Leo goes through are very satisfying, the humor presented in the film is also grounded and funny. Many of the big laughs were in the trailer, but there were plenty of other moments that at least bring a smile. Bobby (Mel Rodriguez), Theresa’s husband, hires Leo to build pools, and there are numerous funny moments that come from Bobby throughout the film. Leo’s first set of clothes are originally Bobby’s “skinny” clothes, and he has a hard time seeing Leo wear one of his precious Seattle Seahawk jerseys. Watching Bobby spouting washing instructions to Leo while trying to keep it a secret as to why he cares so much was definitely silly and laughable.
One could say the plot is a series of vignettes with little clarity on exactly how much time is passing. Plus, the subplot of Leo’s family business and who will inherit it once the aging patriarch passes away could feel a bit overwhelming at times. His sisters, Magdalena (Cecilia Suárez) and Sofia (Mariana Treviño), bicker at times, as both want to be given the company if Leo’s absence proves to be permanent…especially since Leo hasn’t really proven himself capable of doing anything but partying. Parts of the story are cliché, and – much like the main plot – is fairly predictable. Yet, this works, as it weaves with the main plot in a way that makes the conclusion all the more satisfying.
There are some pieces of the film that could have been developed more or simply cut out, but ultimately, I found myself really enjoying the movie. This is a romantic comedy I could easily see watching every time it came on TV. Faris delivers one of her most subtle performances, and is a little more charming than she’s been at other times. The chemistry she builds with Derbez is solid, and ultimately earns Overboard the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.