The original Overboard from 1987 featured Goldie Hawn as a horrible socialite who treats construction worker Kurt Russell terribly until she gets amnesia, and he takes advantage of the situation to make her believe she was his wife. During the process, he basically treats her like a housekeeper for he and his three boys. Along the way, she learns to love them, and despite recovering from her amnesia in the end, she chooses to go back to them.
This remake stays very close to the original, just switching the genders of the lead roles, and changing some of the characteristics. Now, son of a Mexican shipping magnate, Leonardo, is a pompous playboy who belittles ship-cleaner Kate, who is working three jobs to put herself through nursing school while trying to take care of her three daughters. Leonardo’s father is sick, and his sister wants the family business to fall to her instead of Leonardo. When she sees that Leonardo has fallen off the yacht and gotten amnesia, she leaves him there in the hospital – knowing her father will finally leave her the company.
Meanwhile, Kate, at the urging of her friend Theresa, picks Leonardo up from the hospital, and sets about convincing him that he was her husband, a recovering alcoholic, and father to her three girls. She also gets him a job with Theresa’s husband’s construction company. At first, he’s convinced it’s a lie, but eventually, he settles in and comes to love Kate, her daughters, and his new friends at work.
Eventually, his father recovers and comes looking for him, and after initially rejecting Kate and company – he comes back to them, just in time for a happy ending.
This version is directed by Rob Greenberg, and actually has fewer ‘sharp edges’ than the original, which I did love when I was younger, but does not hold up now, and actually feels a little uncomfortable. Switching the roles makes the movie a little more palatable.
- Eugenio Derbez is a huge star in Mexican movies, and he is slowly starting to get more projects in the states. His character is not nearly as loathsome as Hawn’s was in the original, and I wonder if it is because he didn’t want his massive fan base to see him be that terrible. At worst, Leonardo is arrogant and spoiled, but he’s never really cruel. He also falls in with the family fairly quickly, guessing he had been neglecting the girls, and setting out to make things right. He’s unbelievably charming, and the story works because of him.
- Anna Faris plays Kate, and she’s perfect in just-this-side-of-crazy roles (if you don’t remember What’s Your Number? – you should re-watch that). She’s genuinely at the end of her rope in this movie, and is trying her best, but is completely overwhelmed. She goes along with her friend’s plan because she is finally starting to acknowledge she needs some help.
- Eva Longoria plays Theresa, Kate’s best friend, who comes up with the crazy plan. She’s funny in this supporting role.
- Swoosie Kurtz plays Kate’s mother, who was going to help babysit, but has to listen to the call of the theater! It’s a fun role that she nails.
- John Hannah plays Colin, the yacht-butler? I think that’s what he is. Or perhaps Leonardo’s assistant? No, I think he’s tied to the yacht. In either case, he’s really fun and surprisingly supportive. And very Scottish.
- Mel Rodriguez plays Bobby, Theresa’s husband, who helps Leonardo get a job to get back on his feet – so to speak. At first they make fun of his soft hands, but then he learns to work hard, and makes quick friends with them.
Overall, the movie is fun, entertaining, and charming. It is very predictable, but as I have said and will continue to say – if there’s one genre that I was to be predictable, it’s rom-coms.
6 out of 10 – harmless fun.
Bonus – the original: