Plot: Kate (Anna Faris) works her ass off at multiple jobs and still barely scrapes by, so when she is assigned to clean the carpets on a billionaire’s yacht, she is taken aback by his lavish lifestyle. He is beyond rude to her and when she works too slow, he tosses her equipment over the side and complains to her boss, so she owes money and gets fired, so she is quite perturbed. But she sees a chance at some payback when Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) falls off his own yacht and is rescued with amnesia, while his family claims he has drowned. Kate seizes the opportunity and tells him that she is his wife, then puts him to work for her friend’s construction crew and gives him chores at home, so she has time to study for her nursing exams. As he adjusts to his new life, what will happen if his memory returns or he learns the truth?
Entertainment Value: If the premise sounds familiar, that makes sense, as this is a remake of 1987’s Overboard, with the genders of the leads swapped to pump a little freshness into the recipe. The movie does reference the original at one point, as a doctor explains this is the second case of amnesia in the town, but otherwise, this one stands on its own. Overboard fails to capture the same kind of comedy magic as the original, winding up as a mediocre movie that isn’t that bad, but doesn’t deliver big laughs or memorable moments. I did like the references to telenovelas and how this narrative plays into that, but overall I found the humor of this Overboard to be passable, if quite forgettable. The narrative feels rushed and doesn’t allow the humor to come from the characters, at least for the first half of the movie. So as the movie heads toward the finish and wants to cash in the emotional beats, it feels forced and ineffective. A little more time devoted to development could have worked wonders, as the original was much more effective in that regard. So this take on Overboard isn’t terrible, but it feels like a lot of wasted potential.
I think it was a coup that the movie was able to land Eugenio Derbez, as he is able to handle this kind of role with ease. He can dial up the arrogance and rudeness, but still have enough charm to be likable. But the material doesn’t give him much to work, so the laughs he is able to generate are his own, driven by his performance rather than the mediocre script. I do think he brings a lot to the movie, as a lesser performer wouldn’t have been to do as well with this kind of material. Anna Faris is charismatic and fun as always, but again, she struggles to shine with the weak script. The two don’t have the best chemistry either, so whether it is rude banter or sweet sentiment, that magic just isn’t there. To fill the shoes of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn had to be imposing, but I think there was a lot of potential left on the table. The cast also includes John Hannah, Eva Longoria, and Swoosie Kurtz.