As much as I have problems with the first Overboard from 1987, I do have a soft spot for it. After all, it has some things I hold dear: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, deliciously rotten kids with hearts of gold,and some scathing sarcasm directed at an inability to cook. Yes, I have used the line about mashed potatoes being crunchy after a banner bad meal. For all its troubles, the film does make me smile a bit. Which is exactly why I was deeply concerned about the announcement of a remake in the coming year. Everyone is making a huge deal out of the gender swap: it’s a rich MAN that gets comeuppance! It’s got Anna Faris! This is the first trailer I’ve seen for it. Here’s the trailer for the 2018 version of Overboard.
Oh do I have some thoughts. First off, I like that the focus is less on the gender swap of the main characters and more so the focus of the class disparity. I get the feeling that someone wrote this with the hard working folks just trying to get by in mind, and the sentiment of being screwed in our current economy is coming off as well-timed. It’ll be the perfect “fuck the rich, let’s bring them down to the real world!” message that a growing portion of viewers are feeling in a world that makes it clear that it doesn’t give a shit about quality of life and upward mobility. The point where this becomes problematic for me is the racial aspect of the characters. Eugenio Derbez is a pretty big deal in Mexico. In addition to production and directing, he’s garnered world attention for his comedic acting. While it’s nice to see that he’s the successful one in the dynamic (because the stereotypes and mainstream media portraits can be offensive and limited), I’m concerned that this isn’t the right subtext when you take a step back. Do we really need a movie where a white person subjugates a Hispanic person for laughs? That’s where my anxiety goes.
Verdict: I’m not sure about this. If Eva Longoria’s track record holds up (let us not forget that she was one of the producers that brought us John Wick), there’s a chance it could be more than my concerns. We’ll just have to see.