Romantic comedies don’t get much more classic than Overboard. The late director Garry Marshall (Mother’s Day) crafted a charming entry in the genre with his screwball tale of romance and revenge on the high seas, wrapping a classist parody in a paper of pure romance that works today as well as it did on its release three decades ago. Starring real-life lovebirds Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, the film remains one of Marshall’s enduring films.
Overboard was a solid success for its time, earning of $26 million at the box office and furthering the story of Hawn and Russell’s remarkable Hollywood romance (one that endures to this day). Perhaps that’s why a remake is in store for audiences. While it seems impossible to find a pair of actors with the same romantic chemistry as Hawn and Russell, newly released information about the project offers an intriguing change of pace.
As reported by Deadline, Anna Faris (Mom) and Eugenio Derbez (Miracles from Heaven) have signed on to star in the remake, which is now being billed as a reimagining. Bob Fisher (We’re the Millers) and Rob Greenberg (How I Met Your Mother) have been tapped to write and direct the film, which finds Derbez as a spoiled playboy who is tricked into thinking he’s the husband of a working class mother after a boating accident leaves him with amnesia.
This, of course, is a reversal from the original film, in which Hawn played a spoiled heiress to Russell’s working class carpenter. In that film, Hawn suffered an injury which left her with amnesia while Russell, who was stiffed out of $600 by the heiress, convinces her they are married in an attempt to get her back. The class struggle undertones of the original movie seem to be intact with the planned remake, but the gender swap does open the door for new story possibilities.
A remake of Overboard has been tossed around for years now. At one point, back in 2010, Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue) was attached to star in a remake, though that project quickly fizzled out. With remakes so in fashion these days, now seems like as good a time as any to try again.
Fisher and Goldberg are both more than capable as writers and, done right, this could be a remake that does justice to the original. Faris and Derbez are both charming actors with a broad range, much like their predecessors, Hawn and Russell (although it does feel like a missed opportunity not to cast Faris's real-life husband Chris Pratt). They’ve certainly got big shoes to fill, but with the right script and angle, Overboard might be worth falling for all over again.