“Overboard,” starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez, is a gender-swapped remake of a 1987 film by the same name. This remake is a romantic comedy that is entertaining but lacks in relatability. Much of the film’s humor is based off of typical stereotypes, and while this is not an uncommon move made by filmmakers, the stereotypes were way overplayed.
The plot is about a single mother named Kate, who struggles to take care of her three children and handle her two jobs as a pizza delivery girl and a cleaner. On top of that, her nursing exam is less than a month away and she knows that she has yet to study enough for it. One day she is hired to clean a man named Leonardo’s yacht, during which she develops a strong hatred for the spoiled-rich man. A few days later, Kate finds out that Leonardo fell overboard from his yacht and is in the hospital with amnesia. She claims him as her husband not only to get payback, but to provide an extra income in her house and extra time for her to study for the nursing exam.
Right from our first encounter with Leonardo, he hits all the criteria for the snooty rich boy stereotype. While this helps the audience easily identify what his character is like, the snootiness is a bit overstated. It seems that every time he opens his mouth in the beginning, the writers made sure he would sound extremely obnoxious in every sentence he spoke. The problem with that was it made the character completely unrelatable. Leonardo could have come off just as insensitive as he was if his greed and vanity were portrayed through a more subtle personality. It may have been best if Leonardo’s personality was portrayed as more pretentious and apathetic than obnoxious and repulsive.
Anna Faris’ character, Kate, was no showstopper either. Up until the middle-end of the movie, she seemed to lack any real dynamism. Rather she constantly just seemed stressed out about her nursing exam and uncaring about the feelings of her children, or even the feelings of Leonardo when she takes him in as her husband.
In fact, despite how unlikeable Leonardo comes off as in the beginning, it seems that Leonardo becomes the fan-favorite over Kate as the movie progresses. As Leonardo starts taking on the responsibilities of being a father and a husband, he develops a change in attitude. Between giving a pep-talk to his teenage daughter, picking up his wife’s shifts at the pizza parlor and teaching the youngest daughter how to ride a bike, he becomes legitimate “husband material.”
With that being said, it is actually amazing how the writers take a character from being hated by the audience to being loved by it. The transformed Leonardo is actually one of the most likeable characters you can find in a film — the writers find a way to turn his obnoxious habits into admirable quirks. The audience can see Leonardo transforming instead of him abruptly changing into “super-dad” all at once. We see Leonardo learning the value of hard work and learning how hard it is to make it in the real word, allowing him to change into the character the audience falls in love with.
But although the transformed Leonardo was the character every girl could hope and dream for, the transformation still would have been a lot more believable had his original character not have been so overly snooty.
Though the film may have lacked in believability, “Overboard” did have some comedic moments that had audience members laughing along. The character Bobby, played by Mel Rodriguez, delivered some of the most hilarious parts of the movie, especially in the scene at the end where he encourages Leonardo to choose the money over love. There are also a few extremely heart-touching moments, such as when Leonardo tells the oldest daughter how lucky any boy would be to date her and when Kate and Leonardo finally go on an actual date.
Overall, while “Overboard” seems to struggle in character development, the movie most definitely still has its moments, between the theme of money not being able to buy happiness and the laugh-out-loud-moments.