Was having a totally yuck day last week. Had to slap myself upside the head and do something about it. That meant getting out of the rut, the house, my bad attitude and going to a movie. The original Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell is one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t expect much out of the new version but never averse to seeing anything that includes Swoozie Kurtz in the cast. She was her usual brilliant self. She can glide though a comic scene with an easy slickness that makes it look so simple, and believe me, comedy never is.
Anna Faris also has a comfortable manner with comedy. I nurtured some reservations about Eugenio Derbez but was pleasantly astonished. He pulled off the revolting rich guy with greasy sleaze. Goldie cannot be disliked, even when a la bitch. There is just something too loveable about her, but Derbez was so off-putting as the spoiled playboy that I doubted he could turn it around, but oh, the relief, when he did.
The thing about comedy is playing it for real. Jerry Lewis was one of the few who could pull off the slapstick nebbish character. Derbez might be able to do it also, because his investment in his supposed children came across as genuine, his grief at leaving them quite touching and tastefully brief. Some of the best comedy manipulates painful contrasts.
On a side note, it would be wonderful if we could change so drastically, which is the premise illustrated in this film. The idea intrigues, especially after the pointed comment is made that it is a rare thing to be offered two chances in life to become different people and learn from the experience. Quite the thought-provoking message.
There were some pleasing differences in the script, some well done reconfigurations not usually found in updated versions/remakes. These twists were worked into the script with ease. The movie had a number of LOL moments and an endearing charm. It held my interest throughout, which is saying a lot, considering my crabby mood. Professional healthcare workers will find faults with some of the nursing portions, which I won’t go into here, and only know from day jobs in that business/vocation for over thirty years.
If asked, I would give this version of Overboard four stars. It accomplished its purpose and got me out of a BA funk. It’s fun if you’re looking for a distraction and a laugh, but what really helped to endure the crappy mood was an Aussie drama series called A Place to Call Home. Huge mistake—yet beneficially soporific—because it sucked me into Netflix bingeland where all blue funks are repressed to nonexistence. To be fair, there is a warning in the blurb that the series is addictive. (Right. That’s like calling meth an aperitif for fentanyl.) Then because I’m an anglophile I’m also in love with Australia by extension. That love affair started when I discovered Nevil Shute’s books, especially A Town Like Alice, aka, Alice Springs.
Some lines in movies and books are never forgotten, like Hedy Lamar’s come-hither “I am Tondaleya” (phonetically, of course, cuz who the hell knows how it’s spelled, but somebody out there in cyberland will tell me), and the ever fabulous “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” A miniseries version of A Town Like Alice set me up for Aussie admiration with a memorable line loaded with clever irony. Setting, WW II tropical. Picture actor Brian Brown, tanned back exposed, nailed to a wall prior to being whipped for raiding a young Japanese commandant’s hen house to feed starving friends. Brown is asked if he wants anything before punishment is dealt, and Brown, defiant and snarky answers that he’ll have a cold beer and a chicken. And that’s how the Aussies roll.
OK, now I’ve digressed to the point of the entire theme disintegrating. To conclude, I liked the Overboard redo, and if you like Australia and don’t have a lot of time on your hands nor a reasonable amount of self-discipline, do not start A Place to call Home. And watching movie and series, I did get rid of my bad attitude.
Hope you have a great Memorial Day.
M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)
Follow on Twitter @RigdonML