Eugenio Derbez was offered the remake of the popular 1987 film Overboard by MGM who owned the rights. The original film was a hit comedy that paired a young Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in their first film together. Hawn is a rich bitch who refuses to pay construction worker Russell for repairs on her yacht. When she falls overboard, resulting in amnesia, the single dad convinces her she’s his wife and must take care of his brood of kids.
To American audiences, Derbez has made modest appearances in American films like Jack and Jill and Geostorm. But his claim to fame happens to be that he’s the biggest star ever in Mexican cinema and television.
Derbez’s film Instructions Not Included, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in, is literally the highest grossing Spanish language film of all time. So it’s natural that Hollywood wants to court him. Perhaps not oddly, Instructions Not Included took Derbez twelve years to get made.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to meet Russell and Hawn. In my head, of course, I am thinking I am going to meet them for some reason. But it hasn’t happened. It’s sad. I know it’s a really important film for them and I want them to, in a certain way, give me their blessing,” Derbez tells Free Press Houston during a press tour through Houston a few weeks ago.
Ironically, Derbez was in L.A. at a Starbucks® and spotted Goldie Hawn. “My wife told me to go over and talk to her but I didn’t have the guts, I wanted to respect her space. I mean what do I do — go over and tell her I am working on the Overboard remake?” laughs Derbez.
In the current film, Derbez has the wealth and Anna Farris is the contract labor he’s wronged. When Derbez falls overboard and washes ashore unconscious, Farris plots her revenge.
For Instructions Not Included, Derbez was offered the keys to the kingdom if he just altered the story and the little girl didn’t die at the conclusion. “Let me tell you this story,” says Derbez. “Year six, I received a phone call from Fox. They said they had read the script and they like it and they would like to finance the film. But we have one request — you need to change the ending. That doesn’t happen in a Hollywood movie.
“Imagine six years, what are you going to do,” asks Derbez. “I think I did the right thing and I said ‘I can’t betray my movie, I can’t betray my script, this movie is all about the ending.’”
Derbez thinks outside the box. His credits and his acclaim point to that. “Six years later, the same guy at Fox called me and asked to meet for dinner. He apologized and told me he’d like to work with me some day.”
Three Mexican directors have won Academy Awards for best films in the last few years. Derbez has tailored Overboard to appeal to both Hispanic audiences and general moviegoers with a combination of family friendly comedy and a mixture of Spanish and English dialogue.
“Hollywood doesn’t want to hear about anything that goes against the grain,” says Derbez. “In Latin America, we’ve been watching American films forever. We love Hollywood movies. Apollo 13, we don’t know anything about the moon flight but we love that movie. You don’t need to be connected with the culture to appreciate their stories.”
Overboard opens wide this weekend.
The 18th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony flows as smoothly as silk as an assortment of musical artists that range from the origins of rock music to celebrated 1980s rockers take the podium. While this annual event is not per se an awards show, and certainly not the Oscars, the organization and pacing (it’s pre-recorded) is a model of efficiency compared to live broadcasts of other industry events.
First up, The Killers led by Brandon Flowers perform a Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” Flowers recalls memories of how The Cars influenced his life and music. The Boston group are the first induction of this year. Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr used to live and performed together in their first rock group in Cleveland, where both the Hall of Fame and the current ceremony take place. After heartfelt speeches and plenty of shots to Ocasek’s wife, Pavlina Porizkova, sitting front and center, the band rocks out for three songs.
The ceremony took place last month and is broadcast on cable this coming Saturday night. Just this week, Porizkova and Ocasek announced their separation on social media, but their appearance together as a happy family, with their two sons, during the ceremony speaks platitudes about maintaining a nuclear family in the post-modern age. The broadcast literally has more cutaways than anybody else to the seemingly happy couple throughout the three-hour event.
Car’s lead guitarist Elliot Easton, a southpaw, displays some of the most unique lead guitar riffs during his solos. Original bassist and co-lead singer Benjamin Orr died in 2000, and for the broadcast Weezer bassist Scott Shriner sits in with the band. The Cars and The Moody Blues perhaps not oddly offer up the best sets of the night.
Other inductees include Sister Rosetta Thorpe: A press clipping coined the phrase “rock and roll” describing her combination of gospel and rock. Nina Simone is honored, which allows for a diverse interpretation of her songs from the likes of Andra Day, The Roots and Lauryn Hill.
Inductees Dire Straits are conspicuous by the absence of Mark Knopfler, although three other members of the group show up. No songs are performed.
Denny Laine, who played with The Moody Blues on their first LP (Laine later played with Wings.) is inducted with the band but does not play live alongside Graeme Edge, John Lodge and Justin Hayward. Sadly, Ray Thomas, lead singer and flautist, died three months ago. The Moody Blues three-song set of “Singer in a Rock ‘n Roll Band,” “Nights in White Satin” and “Ride My See-Saw” was my personal highlight of the evening.
Heart lead singer Ann Wilson (who gives The Moody Blues induction speech) joins Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell for a soulful rendition of “Black Hole Sun” that follows the memorial portion of the show that salutes artists who’ve died in the last year. Of course, that song’s composer, Chris Cornell, was one of the fallen. An image-heavy montage of musicians who’ve spun this mortal coil unreels.
At this point in the proceedings, it becomes apparent how well-produced the Hall of Fame ceremonies are compared to similar shows — award shows in particular. That’s the strength of the Rock Hall of Fame event. Speeches are allowed to go on until they reach their logical conclusions. Howard Stern’s induction of Bon Jovi lasts an entire reel; in fact, Bon Jovi — not my personal favorite band — occupy most of the last hour of the broadcast. The Oscars could take some production hints and let people speak longer.
Some of the other musicians honored in their passing include Fats Domino, Petty, Walter Becker, Johnny Hallyday and Glen Campbell.
Another segment, new this year, includes honoring a half-dozen singles (a.k.a. 45 rpms) hosted by Steven Van Sandt that covers record-breaking songs such as “Rocket 88,” “Rumble,” “The Twist,” “Louie, Louie,” “Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Born to Be Wild.”
The 18th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony unwinds on HBO, the evening of Saturday May 5.