19th Jul2018

‘Overboard’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, John Hannah, Swoosie Kurtz, Emily Maddison, Josh Segarra, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Mel Rodriguez, Hannah Nordberg, Garry Chalk, Cecilia Suarez, Mariana Trevino | Written by Leslie Dixon, Rob Greenberg, Bob Fisher | Directed by Rob Greenberg

Overboard-Onesheet

Overboard focuses on Leonardo (Derbez), a selfish, spoiled, rich playboy from Mexico’s richest family and Kate (Farris), a working class single mom of three hired to clean Leonardo’s luxury yacht. After unjustly firing Kate and refusing to pay her, Leonardo falls overboard when partying too hard and wakes up on the Oregon coast with amnesia. Kate shows up at the hospital and, to get payback, convinces Leonardo he is her husband and puts him to work – for the first time in his life. At first miserable and inept, Leonardo slowly settles in. Eventually he earns the respect of his new “family” and co-workers. But, with Leonardo’s billionaire family hot on their trail and the possibility of his memory returning at any moment, will their new family last or will Leonardo finally put the clues together and leave them for good?

A remake of the 1987 Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn cult classic was never something that would cause audiences to stop everything their lives permitted and go into an impulsive frenzy of both excitement and trepidation. And in the age of the mega-blockbuster, the now Anna Farris led comedy would seemingly have no legs to stand upon in this over-abundant world of CGI necessity, and flying capes, it would, however, surprise many that not only is Overboard a competent comedy but miraculously had made back almost double its initial budget worldwide. A somewhat staggering feat for a film nobody wanted nor needed.

Rob Greenberg’s film follows the same trajectory as its 1987 counterpart, albeit with a slight twist and gender swap of the scenario which now has Eugenio Derbez inherit the mantle of the damsel in distress from Hawn and Anna Faris from Kurt Russell respectively. It ultimately works well within the context of the film, bringing gender politics and social commentary to the table, with questions on entitlement and the current state of treatment of minorities, albeit never on the nose and forcefully towards the audience. For those who read that previous sentence and groaned with a sense of frustration, Overboard fully excepts what it is and that it’s a comedy first, and the comedy, for the most part, is relatively good, if not a little under exemplary for the talent and team that the film has in its wake. Often for going for cheap gags and slapstick benign humour more so than anything intellectual, although i very much doubt it wants to overextend itself and isolate the majority of its intended audience.

Farris is terrific with the juggling of dramatic tone and comedy beats. Her range as an actress, I wish, was far more extensively utilised in the work she participates in. She undoubtedly has the ability to really shine in the emergence of far-reaching female-driven media in the age of 2018 and in Overboard, she often carries the weight of both comedy and drama to an extensive level. The supporting cast is relatively well exercised with Eugenio Derbez impressing with a charismatic performance, in which the film thankfully fairly utilises his range and the Spanish language thoroughly throughout.

Overboard is in UK cinemas now. The film hits DVD and Blu-ray in the US at the end of July.

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