The loose remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell movie “Overboard” is a perfectly passable example of what I call ‘cotton candy’ entertainment. It’s light, fluffy, and makes you feel good until you get the inevitable too-sweet tummy ache later. It’s not like the original film was a work of art, but this retelling puts a gender-swapping modern spin on the story and is harmless fun.
This time Kate (the ever-charming Anna Faris) is the broke single mom who works several jobs and struggles to take care of her three daughters. The ridiculously charismatic Eugenio Derbez steps into the reversed role as Leonardo, a selfish and spoiled rich Mexican playboy. After Kate is hired to clean the carpets on his $60 million yacht, the two have a disagreement that turns into a shouting match, with Leo refusing to pay for her services.
When the man later falls overboard after a night of hard partying, he winds up in a local hospital with amnesia. Kate’s best friend (Eva Longoria) encourages her to use Leo’s predicament to her advantage (and to get sweet justice), she forges some documents and convinces the billionaire that he’s her longtime husband.
Watch as Leo learns how the real world works by suffering through a day laborer construction job and does all the grocery shopping and cooking. Watch as Kate has time to study to become a nurse and finally gets a good night’s sleep. The scam is supposed to last a couple of weeks but as the two start to make it work, it goes on for far longer. There’s no surprise where the story winds up.
This isn’t awards-worthy material and is missing much of the screwball charm of the original. It lacks much of the comedy element too. This isn’t a particularly funny movie and while the two leads try their best, their chemistry doesn’t exactly sizzle and their love story feels too forced. Faris and Derbez are enormously likeable actors who deserve a bit better material than this. It’s still a fun ride to watch Derbez turn a complete 180 as he transitions from full-blown jerk to caring dad and thoughtful house-husband, and I can’t think of many folks who don’t adore Faris.
The film may be flimsy but mostly succeeds as a more than adequate rom-com with its share of pleasant moments. Those who delight in happy endings won’t be disappointed. This is a perfectly enjoyable yet forgettable film that’s best suited as background entertainment to watch on television while you’re folding laundry: not that there’s anything wrong with that.