Sunday, June 17, 2018

Feature Film Face-Off: "Overboard" (1987) vs. "Overboard" (2018)

Today, we are here with the second installment in our series, FEATURE FILM FACE-OFF! In this series, we take two movies and pit them against each other in a battle for the ages! We break down each film and see which one will be the winner.

Back in 1987, Garry Marshall directed a romantic comedy called "Overboard" starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, two huge actors of the 80's. It received middle-of-the-road reviews and a respectable box office, though we wouldn't call it a classic. In May 2018, a remake of the original was released. It is directed by Rob Greenberg, it stars Eugenio Derbez and Anna Faris, and it has the exact same narrative but with a gender reversal. It's easy to say 'the original is always better,' but we've found that isn't always the case. Today, we thought we would compare these two films to see which version is better and why.

"Overboard" (1987)

+ Goldie Hawn was a comedic genius in the 80's, and she is at her best here.

+ Kurt Russell was probably the most charismatic man in Hollywood at the time, so it helps make his actions seem less problematic.

+ Hawn plays a wonderful 'rich snob type' who we start out hating but grow to find endearing.

+ Russell's character Dean Profitt is the epitome of the 80's blue-collar worker standing up to the bougie yuppie; this was a very timely topic.

- There is a good supporting cast that offers a couple of laughs, but they are vastly overshadowed by Hawn and Russell.

+ We understand where the characters started, as well as their ultimate goal in their situation. We see the progression of each character (e.g. Annie turns from stuck-up bitch into a more empathetic person).

+ We feel a bit sorry for Annie/Joanna when she is left in the hospital by her husband so he can use her money to have affairs with younger models.

- The story is a formulaic rom-com, following the typical "boy meets girl, they hate each other, the boy is forced to spend time with the girl, they get to know each other, they fall in love, last-minute chase to save the relationship" equation.

+ Though the directing is nothing spectacular, the film is well paced.

+ Marshall skirts the social taboos by making the things Dean does feel less creepy (e.g. Dean has Annie sleep on the couch).

+ The film is very even from start to finish.

+ Hawn and Russell have great chemistry together and it really shines through on-screen.

+ There are a lot of laughs here, and we found the movie to be extremely entertaining as a whole.
"Overboard" (2018)

- Anna Faris is wasted here. Though she plays the single mom role pretty well, she doesn't get anything overly funny to do.

+ Eugenio Derbez is very charming and very funny as playboy man-child Leo.

- As a character, Kate is a bit bland. We don't empathize with her situation as much as we should.

- Unfortunately, Leo is a little too charming. We are supposed to hate his character for being an insufferable asshole, but we felt like we never really did, which makes his redemption seem too easy.

- Because of this charisma, he completely overshadows Anna Faris at every turn.

+ The supporting cast is much better in this version and offer up some of the biggest laughs, so much so that they outshine the leads at times.

- Another formulaic romantic comedy that follows the original each step of the way. The only difference is the gender flip.

- It plays out the same "boy meets girl, they hate each other, the boy is forced to spend time with the girl, they get to know each other, they fall in love, followed by a last-minute chase to save the relationship" equation.

+ In this version, Leonardo's sister is the one who abandons him in the hospital as a power play to inherit the company she is clearly much more qualified to run.

+ Her power play is not malicious, she just holds resentment towards Leonardo. She gets passed over because she is a woman, despite being more qualified for the job, so we totally understand her anger.

- The direction isn't all that notable.

- The film does feel a little long at times and could have been tightened up.

- It is a bit uneven as it takes time to get going.

+ The Spanish language music in the soundtrack is excellent and poppy, adding some much-needed fun to a few major scenes, making them that much more enjoyable.

+ This movie wound up being much funnier than expected.

- Derbez and Faris don't have strong chemistry together. Though it isn't the worst on-screen couple we've ever seen, it pales in comparison to Hawn and Russell.
This was not the complete runaway that we were expecting. There is a lot to like about the newer version of "Overboard," mainly Eugenio Derbez and the supporting cast. That being said, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's chemistry and acting are much stronger and clearly overshadows the chemistry and acting in the new version. The film is carried almost entirely by Eugenio Derbez and the supporting cast while Anna Faris is wasted. Because of these factors, the original has the advantage over the remake.


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