Latest 'Overboard' trailer incites a backlash on social media

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?

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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