OVERBOARD — Review by Susan Granger

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Question: Why remake Garry Marshall’s screwball comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell? Answer: Hollywood’s push for diversity now focuses on Latin American superstar Eugenio Derbetz. In the original, Hawn played a snobbish, spoiled heiress who hires carpenter/widower Russell to remodel a closet on her yacht. Then she rudely refuses to pay his bill. Later that night, when she falls overboard and develops amnesia, Russell claims she’s his wife, the mother of his four boys. Continue reading…

Now, in a gender flip, Derbetz plays Leonardo Montenegro, a billionaire Mexican playboy whose uber-yacht, called “Birthday Present,” is docked in coastal Elk Cove, Oregon. When Kate Sullivan (Anna Faris), a single mom, working several jobs while studying for nursing degree, is dispatched to steam-clean his carpet, there’s an unpleasant confrontation.

Which may explain why, when Leonardo falls into the water, hits his head and develops amnesia, Kate’s boss Theresa (Eva Longoria) encourages Kate to get revenge by forging documents and pretending he’s her husband/father of her three daughters.

Which is not difficult since Leonardo’s greedy sister Magdalena (Cecilia Suarez), hoping to gain control of the family business, concocts a story that her brother was devoured by sharks.

The ploy works. Kate brings Leonardo home so he can help around the house and work as a day laborer in construction. Oddly enough, when he’s forced to behave like an ordinary man, Leonardo evolves emotionally and connects with Kate’s kids.

Adapted by Bob Fisher and sitcom-writer-turned director Rob Greenberg from Leslie Dixon’s original screenplay, about a third of the dialogue is in Spanish with Hispanic pop culture references that may be significant for Latiino audiences.

Unfortunately, unlike Russell and Hawn who were obviously in love back in 1987, there’s no chemistry between Derbetz and Faris.

FYI: Gender-swapping is becoming increasingly popular. This summer’s femme-centric “Oceans 8” stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter & Rihanna, while “The Hustle” finds Anne Hathaway & Robel Wilson replacing con artists Steve Martin & Michael Caine.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Overboard” is an insipid 4, and a tasteless mid-credit sequence leaves viewers over-bored.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.