If they are going to remake movies, I am totally down with changing the genders. A gender reversal automatically gives the premise a new dynamic so the same story can have different themes. Overboard reinvents a classic for 2018.
Kate Sullivan (Anna Faris) is a single mom supporting three daughters by working two jobs and studying to be a nurse. Leonardo Montenegro (Eugenio Derbez) is a spoiled rich heir whose entitled behavior costs Kate one of those jobs and puts her further in debt.
When Leonardo falls off his yacht and gets amnesia, Kate’s boss and best friend Theresa (Eva Longoria) suggests she claim to be his wife. Kate makes Leo handle household chores while she studies, and Theresa’s husband Bobby (Mel Rodriguez) puts him to work to earn more money for the Sullivan household.
In 1987, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn were charming enough to make you forget it was still a man taking advantage of a mentally impaired woman, no matter how despicable they made her in the beginning. It takes more to sell this high concept in 2018 but Overboard addresses the issues so you can laugh.
Kate is bringing a strange man into her home with three young girls. So she discusses with her daughters how they’re never going to be alone with him, because Kate will always be in the next room. The daughters are more involved in the deception than the sons were in the original.
Both films made sure the deceiver never took advantage of the amnesiac sexually. Kate makes Leo sober, punishing him for his debaucherous lifestyle, but also making him healthier.
Overboard 2018 also plays up the rich vs. poor angle further. Leo actually learns what it’s like for people who work, especially immigrant laborers. Making a rich A-hole do construction is really satisfying.
By the time Leo starts to become endearing, the affection is earned. Emotion with the girls is earned because he actually became a really great father to them. Hannah Nordberg, Alyvia Alyn Lind and Payton Lepinski are great as the daughters
Overboard is just as sweet and funny as the original was. Derbez does some great pratfalls, and the daughters get some laughs when they have their own agendas with Leo.
It’s also monumental that much of the movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. Not only the Montenegro family, but Kate speaks Spanish too, as they live in a community where both languages are prevalent. This is a true crossover, where the Spanish speaking audience is included.
Fans will appreciate a certain callback to the original, and it’s set in Elk Cove for a reason. Could the new protagonists, Kate and Leo, be named after the stars of Titanic, which was the ultimate overboard romance since the 1987 Overboard?
The only magic they can’t recapture is how films in 1987 looked. In 2018 they’re shot on digital in drab, modern settings. Nothing will look like 35mm in 1987 again unless it’s a period piece.
Overboard is the romantic comedy we need this year. While the premise is outrageous, at its heart it shows how compassion can unite different communities. Whether separated by money, language, status or anything else, we can all love and laugh together.
Overboard is in theaters May 4, 2018.
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