In April, Anna Faris will headline a remake of Overboard, the beloved (and incessantly-replayed-on-TV) 1987 comedy starring Goldie Hawn as a snooty heiress and Kurt Russell as the low-class clown who convinces her — after she falls off her yacht and comes down with amnesia — that she’s his wife as well as the mother of his four unruly kids. This new version from directors Bob Fisher and Rob Greenberg swaps the genders of its main characters, so that it’s Faris’s low-level cleaning lady who tricks her jerky rich boss (Eugenio Derbez) into believing he’s her husband. But for a lot of moviegoers, that switcheroo isn’t enough to justify this latest example of Hollywood double-dipping — as proved by a social media backlash of escalating proportions.
Faris’s new Overboard debuted its latest trailer (above) on Monday, and it was immediately met with a raft of unhappy reactions on Twitter, all of which boiled down to a simple question: Why try to improve upon a cult classic that needed no improvements in the first place?
What, noooooooo. Anna Faris is great but the original was perfect. No need for a remake!
— The Lonely Havoc (@TheLonelyHavocs) February 10, 2018
Why mess with perfection!?.. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell️ never gets old! #Overboard
— Char'sBS (@CharBSage) February 9, 2018
I love Anna Faris. Truly, madly, deeply, in a nice, platonic, non-creepy kind of way. But I'd rather see her star in a movie that was, oh, I dunno, based on an original idea.
— JarOCats ️ (@Jar_O_Cats) February 10, 2018
NO NO NO NO NO
— (((IleneToTheWrite))) (@IleneToTheWrite) February 10, 2018
— Thor Diakow (@thordiakow) February 14, 2018
i adore anna faris, but really? overboard? another remake from another 80's comedy classic? this script could have been tweaked into being a slightly more original movie given a different title. sad this generation is being fed on recycled material.
— ˗ˏˋbeeˊˎ˗ (@bizarrodream) February 9, 2018
YECCCHHHH. Yet ANOTHER remake. Proof that the writers in Hollywood have no originality, no do the studios.
— Bill Schaefer (@bill1195) February 9, 2018
As that last tweet made clear, this backlash has less to do with the suspected quality of this new Overboard (or the funniness of star Faris) than with its fundamental existence. Studios are naturally interested in milking their name-brand properties for profit, since they assume it’s easier to sell audiences on a familiar title/plot than a wholly original work. However, in this age of endless sequels, reboots, and remakes, viewers are unsurprisingly apt to groan at re-dos of their favorite comedies, dramas, and action-adventure sagas, especially when — as in this instance — the original is a perfect example of goofball class-warfare ’80s comedy headlined by two of Hollywood’s most enduringly likable stars (who, moreover, have been a real-life couple for 35 years). Apparently to many the entire endeavor simply speaks to a lack of moviemaking imagination — in terms of both basic storytelling ideas and finding a novel vehicle for a talented comedian like Faris.
Despite this tide of negativity, Overboard’s box-office fortunes will no doubt ultimately rest on whether it’s funny in its own right. We’ll know soon enough if that’s the case: The film docks in theaters on April 13.
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