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Overboard – the way the kooky crumbles

The quality might not be great, but endearing reboot of 1980s comedy that starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell is a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes

21 June, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez in Overboard

Directed by Rob Greenberg
Certificate PG

THERE was a period of silly comedies that filled our screens in the 1980s that perhaps I remember fondly for nostalgic reasons rather than them being any good.

This doesn’t apply to classics such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Man With Two Brains, All Of Me – more The Money Pit, Weird Science, Mannequin, Roxanne… all low-rent offerings but fondly remembered by many.

The original Overboard, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, is firmly in this category. Hawn was the spoilt heiress and Russell the hunky carpenter she mistreats when he arrives to do odd jobs on her gin palace of a yacht. When she falls overboard, takes a tumble and gets amnesia, he scoops her up, pretends she is his wife and introduces her to what real life is like.

In the 2018 reboot, director Rob Greenberg has flipped the sexes – possibly a good thing, as the original idea is actually really creepy. Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) is a Mexican playboy, the heir to the Montenegro Construction Company fortune, much to the annoyance of his hard-working and scheming sister (Mariana Trevino). He swans about on his yacht, having parties with scantily clad model types, and treating his staff badly.

One day pizza deliver­ing, carpet cleaning, trainee nurse and single mum Kate (Anna Faris) comes on board to hoover up the champagne from the shag­pile and gets into a row with Leo, resulting in her and her expensive carpet-cleaning machine being lobbed into the harbour.

Their paths are to cross again – like poor old Goldie, Leo takes a tumble off his deck, knocks his head and wakes up in hospital with amnesia. Kate potters along and claims him for her husband and puts him to work to pay off the debt he owes her.

While we have been here before, it’s not an unpleasant way to spend 90 minutes of your life. It’s rather like watching Mexico versus South Korea in the World Cup group stages. The quality might not be great, and you don’t care much about the outcome, but you’ve nothing against either of them and hope somehow it works nicely for some of the players.

Faris channels her inner Goldie – she is cut from the same “kooky” cloth – and Greenberg has paced the jokes and script well. There is good chemistry between all involved – the Mexican-speaking workmates who take Leo under their wing, Kate’s bestie girlfriend, her self-centred and eccentric mother, the family Leo inherits, and the schlocky-comic nature of the rich siblings and overbearing father the playboy has left behind.

If you want to be critical, there is no escaping this is essentially a brain-dead comedy. It has no nuances, no twists, and it’s all too obvious throughout – but that is actually its charm. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a rather innocent, silly remake, and for that basic lack of pretence, it is fairly endearing.


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