This article previously appeared on Crossfader
Director: Rob Greenberg
Genre: Romantic Comedy
I’ve recently come to realize that since going to film school and diving into the world of cinema, I’ve become a little snobbish in my film taste. All it has been is “based on a true story” this, and “inspirational tear-jerker” that. When I was much younger, I used to love a good comedy, whether it be EASY A or GROWN UPS (the Sandman’s love reaches far and wide). With all of these comedy movies that I’ve been reviewing lately, I’ve rediscovered my love of a good time at the theater and my swelled cinephile head has been humbled. It’s a nostalgic feeling to go back to my roots and find an appreciation for something other than an Oscar nominee. OVERBOARD has reminded me that it is okay to take delight in a romantic comedy or two.
OVERBOARD tells the story of a rich, narcissistic asshole who suffers from amnesia after a boating accident on his yacht and the poor student who takes advantage of the situation and convinces him that they’re married. This romantic comedy was directed by Rob Greenberg, and is actually based on the 1987 film of the same name, only gender-swapped. Greenberg has won three Primetime Emmys for his work on the television show FRASIER, and this is his first time writing and directing a feature for the silver screen, other than offering some screenplay advice for CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. While OVERBOARD missed a note or two and hit some that I wasn’t expecting, I was pleasantly entertained and left the theater feeling inspired.
My boyfriend’s reaction when I’ve redecorated the bedroom for the hundredth time
While this is a romantic comedy, I definitely fell more for the romance than I did the comedy. Don’t get me wrong, I did laugh at some parts and I didn’t roll my eyes even once, but truthfully, my sides weren’t splitting all that often. I did, however, find myself cheering and squealing at the cheesy romantic bits. This is probably because the film was very plainly superficial, and the filmmakers knew that. OVERBOARD knows it’s no more than a cute, amusing story and the movie substantially benefited from this awareness. The dynamic between Kate (Anna Faris) and Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) certainly felt real, and I could thoroughly buy into their journey of hate, tolerance, and love. As strange of a start their relationship might have had, it was still very #couplegoals. So I didn’t laugh as much as usual, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh at all. Besides, the clichéd yet charming romance made up for it.
The cinematography surprised me, as each shot was well thought-out. The framing, lighting, and composition of each shot made for some clean, graceful camera work. Usually, and forgive me if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, comedy films tend not to care about such technical matters. It’s refreshing to see a little more effort. When Kate and Leonardo are talking on the pier after dancing, the water combined with the lights from the boats and the town are just stunning. While I wasn’t really into Anna Faris’ acting, it was Eugenio Derbez that stole the show. Faris’ deliveries for the jokes were a little too underplayed and could have used some more emotion to back them up. Derbez, on the other hand, felt much more comfortable in his role. He had more feeling behind every joke, and he seemed to care lot more than his co-star. That being said, I was fond of the characters’ relationship and the chemistry between the two. Did he carry most of it? Probably, but it worked out well in the end.
My boyfriend’s reaction when I’ve decided I hate the room and I’m going to change it again the very next day
It’s painfully obvious when a film tries too hard to be cinematic, meaningful, or even funny. It’s much more satisfying when a movie is up front about what it is and is exactly that. OVERBOARD is a remake of an ‘80s romantic comedy, and that’s all there is to it. There is no profound message and no thought-provoking moment, and that’s okay! Not every theatrical release needs to be an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes all you need is couple of laughs and a good squeal to get you through the day. If you’re looking for some simple entertainment and an adorably good time, then I suggest you look into OVERBOARD.