“Stick to the Script” is a statement made by Kate’s (Anna Faris) friend, Theresa (Eva Longoria), during the middle of this kidnapping of a wealthy douchebag whose fallen off of a boat and suffered amnesia. He can’t remember his riches or his selfishness, so the studying nurse attempts to use him to work for her around the house selfishly. Cleaning dishes, doing laundry and making dinner. It's a riches to rag story that is entirely basic in every way and is a remake of Garry Marshall’s “Overboard” with a gender swap put in place to make the film feel relevant to today’s female empowerment. Rob Greenberg does the opposite of that effect, but he has good intentions. It’s like a burglar stealing something rather expensive to sell for the wellbeing of his family, he has good intentions, but he’s committing a crime in the process. Greenberg has committed a filmatic crime in the process of remaking “Overboard.”
Cultural appropriation seems to be the new currency of Hollywood, and it's shown this year with films using their ethnicity and cultural messages naturally (I.e. “Love, Simon” & “Black Panther”). “Overboard” is not one of those films, but its heart is in the right place. Placing itself in modern day with a man of great wealth being a douchebag rich boy on his birthday gifted Yacht, “Overboard” takes this man, Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), from his highest moments to falling off a ship and waking up on the shore in a robe with nothing underneath it. While he was on that Yacht, he encountered Kate (Anna Faris), a young studying nurse, with three kids, and is a single mom with two jobs. One is cleaning, and the other is delivering pizzas, but she is sent to clean the carpet on his Yacht, and after refusing to bring him a snack, he fires her. Pushing her off the Yacht and into the water and then throwing her $3000 equipment in with her, forcing her to pay for the replacement of those parts which is one of the many subplots that is never resolved.
Subplots including the missing dad, the children’s character archs, or anything not dealing with Kate (Anna Faris) becoming a nurse or Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) learning to work for a living become ignored by the screenwriters and the viewers. When the film does deal with its main plot, everything is exaggerated and lacks believability. If he’s having trouble at work, he’s being forced to do things that no one would do on the first day of construction. If he’s told a lie of his past, like him being an alcoholic, it's then made to be something ridiculous to extend the narrative such as that he can’t have sex with his fake wife Kate (Anna Faris) to maintain complete sobriety. The lack of authenticity can be found in some of the stupidity in the jokes in that some of them make four-year-old football references, and others are entirely on the nose.
The storytelling relies on that style of on the nose humor so that the plot can continue to last. The film is 1 hour and 52 minutes and should be 90 minutes at most. With three screenwriters to its name, “Overboard” has a style of storytelling that overstates its messages and its comedy. Choosing to carry its story by happenstance and the idea of cause and effect, like that of the female duo needing forged documents to kidnap this man, and it just so happens the pizza chef has experience in forging federal and state documents. Another on the nose joke worth mentioning takes place when one of the sisters is attempting to unravel her brother's fake death, calling police departments near his last location to ask about his shark attack. One of her calls is answered by a Sheriff who refutes her claim by saying there's been no shark attack for years because he lost his arm in the last one. His character is named Brody (“Jaws”), how clever. (Sarcasm)
Direction and performances are apart of the film, but find themselves easily forgettable. Greenberg does nothing special, merely pointing and shooting the camera on the actors. That is the only thing he does throughout the film, and Anna Faris could do so much better than this movie. Some of her classic funny faces got a smile or two from me, but her co-star had me rolling my eyes. Eugenio Derbez is merely emphasizing his accent and lacks all the charm and charisma needed to become believable. It's another lousy showing as “The Latin Lover” was nothing to be impressed with either. He’s admittedly funny in some of his interviews though; I wish that laughter continued in his movies.
I wish “Overboard” didn’t stick to the script, despite Eva Longoria demanding it. The screenplay is its worst part, not to mention it lacks all of the charms of the aged original. This is an old-fashioned tale not meant for modern day time. Despite Greenberg providing a bit of ethnicity and feminine taste to the film, “Overboard” barely cracks a smile from myself at times. Comedy is extremely subjective though, and, I have to admit, a couple of people laughed in my theatre. I’m a fan of smart humor, and this one just wasn’t for me. If you like Kevin Hart or Adam Sandler’s stand up this may be for you. For me, I’m admirer of comics like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Robin Williams. Quick, witty, and surprising. All things absent from “Overboard.”