Overboard

May 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris, Eva Longoria
Directed by: Rob Greenberg (debut)
Written by: Rob Greenberg (“Meet Dave”) and Bob Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”)

Cinematic purists beware! They’re coming for your ’80s movies — and they’re coming hard and fast and with little justification.

It seems nothing is sacred in Hollywood these days. That’s especially true for those relatable and entertaining, albeit often cheesy, ’80s flicks. They have a target on their back, and studios are banking on the idea that nostalgia is far too powerful for moviegoers in their thirties and forties to ignore.

Now that remakes of movies like “The Karate Kid,” “Hairspray,” “Robocop,” “Ghostbusters” and many others — which achieved varying levels of critical and box-office success — are behind us, next on the list for an uninspired reimagining is “Overboard,” the 1987 comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell about a rich heiress with amnesia who is tricked into believing she is the wife of a poor carpenter with four boys.

In this new reiteration, gender roles are reversed, with Russell’s character going to comedian Anna Faris (“The House Bunny”) and Hawn’s going to Mexican box-office champion and funny man Eugenio Derbez (“Instructions Not Included”). But as different as it would like to declare itself to be because of the gender switch, there isn’t much to the “Overboard” remake that warrants a second shot on the big screen.

The setup is roughly the same as the original. Kate (Faris) is a single mom raising three daughters and working a few dead-end jobs while studying to be a nurse. She meets millionaire playboy Leonardo (Derbez) when she is hired to clean his yacht. When Leonardo demands that Kate go find him a mango, she refuses, and he stiffs her out of her pay and pushes her off his ship. Later, when Leonardo falls off the boat himself and is found washed up on the beach with amnesia, Kate decides to get her revenge by claiming to be his wife and making him work off his debt as a faux husband and father.

It’s virtually impossible to watch the updated “Overboard” and not compare it to the first since so much of it follows the same exact plot points and even borrows chunks of the original dialogue. Aside from the role reversal and the casting of Derbez, the latter of which gives focus on a somewhat more Latino-centric story, there is nothing remotely fresh or updated about the narrative. In fact, the screenplay hits a major snag right from the start when its screenwriters expect audiences to believe that in 2018, a person of Leonardo’s stature could go missing for more than a day without someone jumping on social media and piecing it together in a few seconds.

The most glaring problem with “Overboard,” however, is the underwritten relationship between Leonardo and his fake family. In the original, Hawn bonds with her boys in such a sweet and authentic way that when the heartbreaking reveal comes, there is a sense of real loss and sadness. When Derbez’s Leonardo gets his memory back, it doesn’t feel like he’s leaving behind anyone who made an impact on his life in any meaningful way. And let’s face it: If the original film was missing that deep, emotional connection, there would’ve been no reason to join Dr. Death for a final rescue mission.

Eva Longoria – Overboard

May 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

As a young woman in her early 20s having just moved to Hollywood from South Texas in 1998, Eva Longoria thought she “had arrived” when she landed a role as an extra in Ricky Martin’s music video for his single “Shake Your Bon-Bon.” It’s a story Longoria, 43, shared with an audience in Los Angeles last month during a ceremony where she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If Longoria, best known for her role on the popular TV series “Desperate Housewives,” thought she had made it big back then, there’s no telling how that same young woman would have reacted knowing the kind of success she would earn over the next two decades. From award-winning actress to TV producer and director to spokesperson, restaurateur, fashion designer, political activist and philanthropist, Longoria has made a mark in her fair share of industries.

In “Overboard,” the remake of the 1987 comedy of the same name, Longoria plays Theresa, a pizzeria owner who encourages her friend and employee Kate (Anna Faris) to take advantage of a millionaire playboy (Eugenio Derbez) with amnesia who cheated her out of some money. In the remake, genders are reversed as Faris takes on the role originally played by Kurt Russell, and Derbez does his best to match Goldie Hawn’s previous fish-out-of-water character.

During an interview with me last week, Longoria talked about the importance of the gender switch for today’s audience, women as storytellers and how she’s helping young Latinas strive for the same dreams she had 20 years ago.

Remakes of ’80s movies aren’t anything new, but why remake something like “Overboard” that is already beloved by so many people?

I was such a big fan of [the original movie] in the ’80s. Eugenio Derbez is the one who found the title and thought, “Hey, this would be interesting to remake.” The gender switch in it makes so much sense. It’s so contemporary. I was really nervous that they were remaking it until I read the script and then I was like, “Oh, my God, this is hilarious!”

By switching genders, the female character in the new film has more control of the situation than in the original. How do you think a remake of the film would’ve been perceived in 2018 if gender roles weren’t reversed?

I think [the original movie] was a movie for the ’80s — a movie for a different time. With women’s empowerment and #MeToo and #TimesUp, I don’t think you could do the original version today.

Do you think reversing genders in films like this and “Ghostbusters,” is a direct result of women in the film industry speaking out and demanding more prominent roles?

I hope this is a tidal wave for change in how we approach storytelling. Women are not a special interest group. We’re 50 percent of the global population. There should be an equal amount of stories from our perspective. Women have buying power and have a strong view on life and are complex human beings. There are many untapped wells of stories we can draw from.

Talk about the monthly meetings you recently started having in your living room with other Latina actresses.

It’s called Latinas Who Lunch. It’s a group of Latinas in the industry who want to support each other. We want to be sure we uplift each other’s projects and become megaphones for the work we are doing. So, instead of standing alone, we’re standing together. It’s been so wonderful connecting with all these powerful, strong, intelligent Latinas who are doing great things in the business.

You were just immortalized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame two weeks ago. How does it feel to now be a permanent part of Hollywood Blvd.?

This is a legacy beyond my dreams. When I moved [to Hollywood] 20 years ago, I told myself, “One day I’m going to have a star on this street.” For it to become true is just mind blowing to me.

Did you think 20 years ago that you would become a director?

I knew I wanted to be on the business side of entertainment. I really loved directing and producing when I landed here, but I went the acting route. Now, I’ve come back to my true passion, which is putting projects together and utilizing different muscles of my brain. I never felt like I reached my full potential as an actor, but as a producer and director, it’s so much more fulfilling.

The Other Guys

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton
Directed by: Adam McKay (“Step Brothers”)
Written by: Adam McKay (“Step Brothers”) and Chris Henchy (“Land of the Lost”)
 
While it’s not as dismal as the Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis vehicle “Cop Out” from earlier this year, the convoluted plot and countless misfires and clichés in “The Other Guys” definitely make for a subpar ride-a-long in the buddy-cop action sub-genre. A better name for it might’ve been “Policing for Schmucks.”

In “The Other Guys,” Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as a pair of NYPD cops whose embarrassing reputation among their fellow officers precedes them both. Allen Gamble (Ferrell), who has been transferred from accounting, would rather spend his time on the force sitting at a desk doing paperwork than be out in the field. His partner Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg), who was involved in an accidental shooting of a beloved sports star, is itching for a big case and is tired of watching the department’s hot shot cops (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) get all the glory for their death-defying car chases and shoot outs.

It’s when Allen and Terry finally get the chance to prove they can handle a high-profile case (Steve Coogan plays a shady investment banker involved in a white-collar crime) when the film decelerates and lets Ferrell and Wahlberg riff off each other without much direction or substance to their ranting and raving.

Jokes include making fun of Allen for driving a Prius, arguing about what music they should listen to on the radio, a smut-talking old lady, and a scene where Allen has to talk down a suicidal man from a ledge with no formal training. It’s all be done before and done a lot funnier. When the jokes start repeating themselves (on more than one occasion Terry compares himself to an eager-to-fly peacock), it is evident “The Other Guys” has run out of things to say and do.

The only running joke that is fairly humorous is when Allen introduces Terry to his drop-dead gorgeous wife Sheila (Eva Mendes) and proceeds to underrate just how attractive she is. Terry wonders how a woman like Shelia could be interested in a man as maniacal and irksome as Allen.

Thin on character and hilarious moments and overwritten on plot, “The Other Guys” will probably please the biggest of Ferrell’s fans, but these are the same moviegoers that were rolling in the aisles for “Land of the Lost,” “Semi-Pro,” and “Blades of Glory.” Others who like him in smaller, more controlled doses just might need to take a pass on this one.