Hot Take: For a film completely unworthy of a remake — even with a gender-swapping twist — 2018’s Overboard works better than the 1987 version.
For the most part, ask about the 1987 version of Overboard and it’s Goldie Hawn’s performance that carries the film. Unsurprisingly, in the remake, it’s Eugenio Derbez, taking on the same role essentially, who is the reason to watch the remake. And, surprisingly, one could argue that Derbez is more charismatic than Hawn and makes the gender-bending update better than the original. That being said, the scary part about a remake like this having any sort of success could open us up for more unnecessary remakes from 1987 like Harry and the Hendersons, Can’t Buy Me Love or Innerspace. Let’s hope not. (Three Men and a Baby topped the box office in 1987… is it fair to say that 1987 wasn’t the best year for movies?)
Overboard follows Kate (Anna Farris), a single working mother with three children. When hired to clean a luxury yacht, she meets Leonardo Montenegro (Derbez), a wealthy Mexican playboy. After being fired and humiliated by Leonardo, Kate gets a notice that she will be evicted from her house. When Leonardo falls off his yacht and is found with amnesia, Kate’s friend Theresa (Eva Longoria) convinces Kate to pose as Leonardo’s wife and get him to earn her family a living while she studies for her nursing test as payback for firing and humiliating her.
Beyond the premise, if you’ve seen the original, not much has changed. Derbez, though, is a special talent. It was evident in last year’s How to Be A Latin Lover and he continues to prove he can be a success in the U.S. and has earned the title of most influential Hispanic talent in the entertainment industry. Farris isn’t bad in her role, either and the two exhibit excellent on-screen chemistry. The odd couple works well in this romantic comedy remake. It almost feels like a throwback to when rom-coms were more en vogue. Silly? Sure. Implausible? Absolutely. But entertaining and harmless enough to keep you from overthinking the whole thing.
If you’ve enjoyed any of Derbez’s work in the past, it’s likely you’ll enjoy him here. The movie will be unlikely to leave a lasting impression but it’ll be one that, if you do enjoy, you’ll likely stop what you’re doing when it’s on cable. A similar effect the original has had on many.
You’re already familiar with Derbez’s impressive resume y yo quiero mas.
You’ll pass on the opportunity to be underwhelmed by Overboard twice in a lifetime.