By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Don’t look for “Overboard,”
the new romantic-comedy starring Anna Faris (TV’s “Mom”) and Eugenio Derbez (“Geostorm”) to dethrone “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Early predictions have the Marvel movie banking an additional $100 million and staying on top of the heap again for a second weekend run.
However, for those experiencing a bit of superhero fatigue, “Overboard” is a surprising and fun alternative. It’s a remake of the beloved 1987 same-named romantic comedy which starred Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.
In that movie Hawn played a pampered heiress and Russell was a hired laborer.
In this new “Overboard,” adapted from Leslie Dixon’s original story by writer/directors Rob Greenberg (TV’s “How I met your Mother” and Bob Fisher (“We’re the Millers”), the roles are reversed and sprinkled with a dose of Latin flavor.
Derbez stars as Leonardo Montenegro, a wealthy playboy from Mexico who has never worked a day in his life. His father, Papi (Fernando Luján, “The Kids Are Back”) is old and near death, but has told everyone that Leonardo will inherit the family dynasty, much to the dismay of his hard-working daughters, Magdalena (Cecilia Suárez, TV’s “Sense8”) and Sofia (Mariana Trevińo, “How to Break up with your Douchebag”).
Faris plays Kate Sullivan, a single mother with three young girls; Emily (Hannan Nordberg, (“Girlfriends Day”), Olivia (Alyvia Alyn Lind, (TV’s “9-1-1”) and Molly (Payton Lepinski, TV’s “Who Killed Jon Benet?).
It’s not easy raising them. By day, Kate tries to juggle working as a part-time pizza deliverer and house cleaner while studying at night to become a nurse.
However, Kate’s life changes dramatically when she’s sent to clean Leonardo’s yacht which is anchored off Elk Cove, Oregon, the fictional city in the original “Overboard.” After Leonardo’s wild night of partying with some buxom babes, the yacht is an absolute mess.
Leonard and Kate don’t hit it off well and he lets her know she’s there merely to serve him. A war of words ensues and Leonardo dismisses her by literally pushing her overboard.
Now, humiliated and without one of her jobs, Kate is in an even worse financial predicament than before.
But karma/fate intervenes. Well, sort of.
One night while on the yacht, Leonard gets drunk and falls overboard. He’s found washed ashore on beach, but has no memory of who he is or how he got there.
The incident is reported all over the news along with a mugshot of Leonardo. Kate recognizes him. So, she and her best friend Theresa (Eva Longoria, TV’s “Jane the Virgin”)-- whose husband Bobby (a scene stealing Mel Rodriguez, TV’s “The Last Man on Earth”), co-own a pizza parlor, concocts this crazy scheme.
Kate is going to pretend to be Leonardo’s wife. She manages to get a fake marriage certificate and other related information and heads to the hospital.
She convinces the administrators and doctors there that she’s married to him. Leonardo swears that even with amnesia, he’d never be married to someone like Kate.
But the half-baked plan works to perfection and Kate can take Leonardo home. She uses him to clean her modest house, cook and shuttle the kids off to school. Now, she finally has time for herself.
All that house work is taking its toll on Leonardo and so is working at Bobby’s construction company. The crew teases Leonardo about his “soft lady hands.”
As time goes on, Leonardo begins to accept his new role and even embraces it until his memory starts to come back. Now, Kate and her kids must fess up about the entire charade.
There’s so much to like about “Overboard.” One of the best things is Derbez who really shines. He has terrific chemistry with Farris who is also delightful in this role.
Derbez is a household name in Mexico and has been grinding away making low-budget Spanish-language movies such as “Instructions Not Included” and last year’s modest hit, “How to Be a Latin Lover.” With “Overboard,” he looks to broaden his fan base and this movie seems like the perfect vehicle for him to do so.
What also keeps “Overboard” afloat is its outstanding supporting cast that includes: Josh Segarra, (TV’s “Arrow”), John Hannah (“Genesis”), (Jesús Ochoa, “The three Sides of Ana”), (Omar Chaparro, upcoming “Superfly”) and (Adrian Uribe, TV’s “My Heart is Yours”).
It’s also refreshing to see such a broad representation of Latino culture depicted in a non-stereotypical manner.
And last, but not least, “Overboard” is just flat-out funny and charming. I’ve always said that if you’re bold enough to remake a revered movie, you need to bring something new and exciting to it.
The screenwriters of “Overboard” do. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn should be proud.
I will be on vacation May 4 and not on the Kitty O'Neal Show (KFBK Radio 93.1 FM and 1530 AM) for my movie review segment. I'll be back on air May 18 at 6:40 p.m.
In the meantime Look At This Trailer For "OVERBOARD"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.