Anna Faris is the hardworking, blonde comedic actor, known for her roles in Scary Movie, the House Bunny and – slightly, unfortunately – better known for being the ex-partner of Chris Pratt.
As I have always enjoyed her somewhat ditzy performances and I wanted to watch a movie that I did not have to think too much about and could possibly get me in the mood to write my own script, I decided to delve into the murky world of Netflix films.
With Disney dominating the multiplexes – Star Wars or Marvel – actors not connected to those cinematic juggernauts are looking for other avenues and platforms to keep working. Netflix has become one of the world’s leading streaming services and as such is attracting the productions and films from companies that use to look to the multiplexes.
Initially, a platform that showed readymade shows from external production companies, Netflix is now producing and co-producing an increasing amount of their own content.
Following the likes of Will Smith, Sandra Bullock, Kurt Russell, and Goldie Hawn, Anna Faris has found her way to the streaming platform. In a mildly ironic way, she follows in the footsteps of two of the aforementioned stars – Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn – playing Kate Sullivan, a widowed mother of three in a remake of their 1987 comedy, Overboard.
The 2018 version of Overboard, a story of an obnoxious millionaire who, after falling overboard whilst on their yacht, gets temporary amnesia and is tricked into to believing they are part of a low-income family, differs from the original with the male and female roles being reversed.
In the original film, Goldie Hawn was the obnoxious millionaire, with Russell playing a struggling labourer. In the 2018 version the obnoxious millionaire, Leonardo Montenegro, is played by Eugenio Derbez and Faris is the hardworking commoner. It is an interesting reversal of roles, especially as Faris is almost the perfect modern-day homage to Goldie Hawn’s many kooky blonde characters of years gone by.
In Overboard she leaves the silly comedy mostly to Derbez. This is one of the many good decisions that were taken in making this film. The 1987 film is not the sort of film that would be necessarily thought of as ripe for a remake. In fact, when I saw the title show up on Netflix, I thought it was the original. Then I saw it was a remake and thought ‘ that’s a terrible idea!’.
As the holiday period passed and I flicked through various channels and worked my way through Agents Of Shield’s season’s four and five – both brilliant – I thought I would work on my own script and put on some light fluff in the background. The Overboard remake was my choice for background noise.
Ten minutes into the film, I was engrossed. Overboard is the perfect easy watching film. Captivating enough to keep watching, but not so cerebral that your head hurts trying to follow the plot. The two leads have the perfect chemistry. Different enough for one to believe that they come from different world’s, but not so opposed that one could not see them together.
The supporting characters are all very strong and amusing, with Eva Longoria and John Hannah being the two most recognisable faces in the supporting cast. Derbez is the standout performer in the film, however. His turn as the obnoxious millionaire who is tricked, whilst in an amnesiac state, into becoming an everyday guy is, ridiculous as the premise is, believable.
With upward of twenty thousand votes on IMDB, Overboard scores a paltry five point nine, giving the impression that it is an unwatchable mess. That is not the case at all. By way of comparison, the risible Tomb Raider – my review here – scores six point three.
The film is funny and hopeful and leaves you with all the feels you would want from a film such as this. It won’t be challenging any of its peers in awards season, but as a pleasant distraction for a couple of hours, Overboard is one of the better little-known films to watch on Netflix.