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'Overboard' Review: They Sure Don't Make Them Like This Anymore

By Dustin Rowles | Film | May 4, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | May 4, 2018 |


Earlier this week, Kayleigh wrote a piece about how superhero movies aren’t ruining Hollywood, but they’re not exactly helping, either. And the thing is: These big event movies that are now year-round (instead of just the summer and holiday season) aren’t really crowding out the good movies — there are plenty of streaming options for those, and studios are always going to put up Oscar contenders. Thanks to movies like A Quiet Place and Get Out and the way that Jason Blum has figured out the perfect formula for profit, horror movies are doing as well or better than they ever have. Action movies, indie flicks, and horror films are doing just fine, and studios are pretty adept at finding the right hook, cast, and budget to continue making fairly great comedies like >Blockers or Game Night or the forthcoming Tag.

But you know what doesn’t get made anymore? Thoroughly pointless, profoundly mediocre romantic comedies. This used to be a cottage industry in Hollywood because the men who run studios thought it was easier to target women with these movies than to put women in their action pics, so every month we’d get a movie like The Wedding Planner or 27 Dresses or Bride Wars or What Happens in Vegas.

But now? How often do you see films like that, anymore? Romantic comedies have to be good in order to get made now (see The Big Sick). When is the last time you watched a sometimes tiresome, sometimes mildly pleasant but completely forgettable romantic comedy? What is TBS supposed to air on Saturday mornings for people who are too hungover to find the remote? What are teenagers going to ignore while they’re making out in the back of a theater? You can’t ignore Thor: Ragnarok or the latest James Wan flick.

This Overboard remake might be one of the last of its kind: A contrived, predictable studio comedy specifically designed to generate a single moment of something almost resembling genuine human emotion! I fell asleep during Overboard for a full 15 minutes, and I didn’t miss a thing! I woke up just in time for the music montage, which does all the hard storytelling work, the perfect bridge between the unpleasant, untenable situation between a couple and the moment they realize they might be in love. They don’t make music montages like this anymore! We don’t even see parodies of them anymore because no one would understand the frame of reference.

Overboard is fine. No, actually it’s not even fine. It’s nothing. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t cry. I felt nothing! I sat there and I bathed in its mediocrity. I knew everything that was going to happen. I could predict every scene, right down to the words they spoke. I can’t say that of very many movies anymore. That’s a real shame. In fact, even Overboard wouldn’t have been made but for the fact that it’s a remake that features Anna Faris and the biggest box-office star in Mexico in Eugenio Derbez, because even pointless, mediocre remakes have to appeal to a global audience.

There’s no reason to see Overboard and that’s precisely what’s so great about it. There’s no sense of urgency. You’re never going to get spoiled. If you don’t see it, you’re not going to miss out on any conversations. It’s just there! Taking up space in your local multiplex for a few weeks, before it is ignored on iTunes and Netflix, and then just disappears into the cosmos, also known as the $4.99 DVD bin in the electronics section of a big-box store. If they stop making movies like this, someone is going to have to program the robots at Target to replace those bins with something someone might buy, and that’s going to be a real pain in the ass for the guy who has to push all those buttons.

Won’t anyone think of the button pushers, Hollywood?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.