OK, so before you get all “ANOTHER remake” on me with this review, I want you to know that this is actually a remake of a remake. 1987’s “Overboard” was actually a remake of an Italian film called “swept away,” and nobody seemed to have a problem with that then. I mean sure, the Internet wasn’t a thing back then so very few people probably knew, but that is another discussion for another time.
With Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn starring in the version most of us are familiar with, the roles get reversed with this new version as Anna Faris stars as Kate (a nod to Hawn’s daughter, Kate Hudson, perhaps?), a working mom of three holding down multiple jobs as she studies to become a nurse. When one of her jobs sends her to clean the carpets of a large boat owned by spoiled rich boy Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), who has nothing short of disdain for her. When he falls off of his boat in the middle of the night, hitting his head and giving him a form of amnesia, Kate takes the opportunity to convince him that they are married not only for revenge but to also help her pay the bills by working for the construction company owned by her brother (Mel Rodriguez) as well as taking care of the house after her mother (Swoosie Kurtz) cannot help anymore.
This was another one of those examples of a film where I went in with very low expectations only to be pleasantly surprised. “Overboard” even went a step further with me to the point where I think even if I was truly looking forward to seeing it that I would have been satisfied with what was put on the screen. The script (co-written by Leslie Dixon and its co-directors in Bob Fisher and Rob Greenberg) is witty and fun, and while the concept has been done quite a few times, this film keeps the material fresh and engaging.
There may be those that see Faris’ performance as channeling Hawn (as she has been compared to in the past), but this is a rarity in another category as well in the fact that that did not bother me at all. This is not a caricature; this is Faris simply doing what she does to bring a character to life. As it pertains to Derbez, I have been a fan of his for a few years now, and he did not disappoint here. His comedic timing is dead on as he knows when to pour it on and when to reel it in, and I really hope that this film gives a larger American audience the opportunity to see the his amazing work. There is not only great chemistry between he and Faris, but the work he does with the construction crew is a lot of fun and heartwarming as well. This is all fueled by a strong performance by Rodriguez as his fake brother-in-law/pseudo boss, who is feeding into the deception but really does grow to care as much for Leonardo as everyone else does. His work with Eva Longoria as his wife is wonderful to see as well.
I can’t say that this is a stop-down kind of film, but this version of “Overboard” is better than it has to be. This is a great alternative to what the normal summer fare that is coming our way will bring and can even be a date movie that can entertain a wide variety of audiences!