[Screen It]


(2018) (Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez) (PG-13)

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Dramedy: To get even with a spoiled billionaire playboy for the way he treated her, a single mom who's training to be a nurse cons that man into thinking he's her husband and father to her three girls when he falls off his yacht and washes up on the shore suffering from amnesia.
Kate Sullivan (ANNA FARIS) is a single mom to Emily (HANNAH NORDBERG), Olivia (ALYVIA ALYN LIND), and Molly (PAYTON LEPINSKI) who's holding down several jobs while studying to pass her nursing exam. While cleaning part of the yacht owned by playboy Leonardo Montenegro (EUGENIO DERBEZ) -- who's been tapped by his ailing father, Papi (FERNANDO LUJAN), to take over the company business rather than either of his sisters, Magdalena (CECILIA SUAREZ) and Sofia (MARIANA TREVINO) -- Kate has a bad run-in with the billionaire and he ends up pushing her off the yacht and throwing her cleaning gear into the water.

That costs her that job, and with her facing an eviction notice, Kate's friend, Theresa (EVA LONGORIA), concocts a wild scheme when they see on the news that a man washed up on the shore with amnesia. With Kate recognizing him, Theresa proposes that they con Leonardo into believing he's Kate's husband and father to their three kids. With Theresa's construction foreman husband, Bobby (MEL RODRIGUEZ), agreeing to employ him, Kate decides to go through with the ruse, even getting her daughters to play along.

At first, the newly renamed Leo can't believe he's married, has kids, and is poor, but knowing he's suffering from amnesia, he cautiously goes home with them. Wanting her revenge, Kate puts him to work as little more than her domestic slave labor, all so that she has more time to study. But as he gets better and then good at what he does both at home and at work, Kate tries to figure out how to tell him the truth, all while realizing that will break her daughters' hearts as well as her own now that she's started to fall for him.

OUR TAKE: 3.5 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics in our or most other markets is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

When it comes to remakes of previous movies, I'm usually on the critical side of things where more often than not such filmmaking feels like a lazy, cash-grab situation rather than a passion for good, novel, and creative cinematic storytelling.

That's particularly true when the film victims of such studio decisions are classic offerings that stood and usually continue to stand on their own and simply should be left alone. Yes, there are some exceptions to that rule (such as "Heaven Can Wait" stemming from "Here Comes Mr. Jordan), but in general, the old adage about letting sleeping dogs lie should apply to most movies.

That said, when the original is barely known or wasn't much of anything to begin with, then the rules can be softened up a bit, especially if some sort of unique spin or take on the original story is going to take place. All of which leads us to this week's release of "Overboard." It's a remake of the 1987 romantic comedy that starred real-life couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

I don't remember much about the film beyond the fact that Hawn played a snobby rich lady who falls off her yacht, ends up suffering from amnesia, and then has the carpenter (Russell) to whom she was previously rude make her believe she's his wife and mother to his kids, all to get his revenge on her. Beyond that, the rest of the movie and who was in it is nothing more than a blur, you know, almost like I had amnesia regarding having seen it.

I have a feeling the same will hold true for this remake, and will occur far sooner than the three decades since the original. Here, the gender roles have been reversed, but the overall basic storyline is the same. Anna Faris plays a single parent who's struggling to make ends meet, ends up being insulted and looked down upon by a rich billionaire playboy (Eugenio Derbez), and then gets her revenge by lying to him that they're married and with three kids. Yes, all after he falls overboard and then suffers from amnesia.

There's obviously some potential in the premise, but it's as if all involved -- including writer/director Rob Greenberg and co-scribe Bob Fisher -- took a collective blow to the head and forgot how to make a good movie. It's not so much bad in a nails down the chalkboard fashion, but instead simply feels lame and flat throughout.

And even if you haven't seen the original or like me can't recall a thing about that movie, this one is about as predictable as they come from one story beat to the next. Likely to be little more than a blur in a few days and certainly all but forgotten when the next remake comes out in the late 2040s, "Overboard" rates as just a 3.5 out of 10.

Reviewed May 3, 2018 / Posted May 4, 2018

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