One of my favourite feelgood movies is Overboard, the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell comedy where Hawn plays an awful entitled socialite and Kurt Russell the put-upon handyman who ends up pretending to be her husband after she falls off her yacht and bangs her head.
There’s obviously a much darker interpretation of Overboard – it’s not a romcom, it’s a study in the way a man deceives a woman suffering from amnesia and brainwashes her into believing she is his wife. It’s also a perfect piece of the 1980s – blue collar worker vs conspicuous consumer – so you might well harbour worries about what a return to this story might discover.
This time around, the rich awful person is a man (I blanked entirely on the actor’s name), heir to a cement company fortune, and instead of Kurt Russell we have Anna Faris, widowed mother of three, studying to be a nurse rather than dreaming of building a crazy golf park.
The plot is very similar to the original. There’s an extra, feckless parent, there’s much more emphasis on the Seattle Seahawks for no particular reason, and, because it’s set in the same fictional town of Elk Cove, there’s a nice callback when somebody asks the doctor if complete amnesia is common – there was a young lady thirty years ago who had the same condition. So the Overboardverse is internally consistent.
There’s a lot more Spanish than in the original (and there’s a payday for John Hannah as a Scottish butler) and there’s an extra scene when the deception is uncovered, when the ‘husband’ has to abandon his new children. I was weeping as I watched this, which may be because I always cry during emotional scenes while I’m on planes, or because I had three hours’ sleep.
So in total, a fairly faithful adaptation that brings a little more to the original and doesn’t crap all over it. I don’t think we absolutely required a remake, but it’s always nice to see Anna Faris.