I consider myself a bit of a movie buff. I’m a movie buff because it would be boring if I had no hobbies – but I don’t want to do any physical activity. As such, any hobby that allows me to sit on my ever-widening ass and feel productive is a good one in my book. So movies? Kinda my thing.
Like any movie buff, I have an extensive listing of movies that I loved in the past which could do with a reboot. For example, I would love to see a remake of “Beyond Thunderdome” with Beyoncé cast as Aunty Entity. You know that’s a brilliant idea.
At the same time, I think there is a pool of movies that should be locked in a vault and dropped to the depths of the ocean, never to be seen again. Number one on this list is the infamous 1986 feature – which has a surprising number of now-famous faces in it – “Soul Man.”
While an image speaks a thousand words, let me give you a rundown anyway.
C. Thomas Howell plays a pampered rich boy whose parents decide to not free-ride him at Harvard. So he does what any reasonable person in his position would do; dons blackface so he can steal a scholarship from the United Negro College Fund. Let me make this clear. A rich white guy spends most of a movie in blackface to steal funds allocated to poor black students – and he’s the fucking hero!
To me, it’s obvious that a movie like that should never be remade. But then again, maybe it’s not. Maybe right now, some Hollywood director is going “Hey, you know what people like in movies? Blackface. Let’s remake “Soul Man!””
I bring this up because the number 2 movie on my list recently received a remake. That number 2 movie? “Overboard.” First off, I want it noted I’m not a romantic comedy girl. I take the George Carlin stance on romantic comedies.
If a movie is described as a romantic comedy, you can usually find me next door playing pinball.
So maybe I don’t know romantic comedies very well – but I am able to define when a movie is super rapey. And “Overboard” is super fucking rapey – whether you’re watching the 1980’s version or the new one.
Let me give you the rundown of the original. A rude, rich white girl (Goldie Hawn) goes on a boat trip. She falls off the boat and hits her head. Boat captain (Kurt Russel) then decides – instead of getting the girl immediate medical attention – he’s going to tell her she’s his wife and bring her home to raise his hoard of ADHD brats. In short, a psychotic ship captain abducts a seriously injured woman and forces her to live with him as his wife – and his justification is she was rude to him. Because apparently, kidnapping accident victims is completely allowed if said accident victim hurts your feelsys.
So what does MGM do with this questionable source material? They say, “we can use this script again. Let’s just reverse the genders! It will be much more palatable if a young, white single mother abducts a disabled minority and forces him to live with her as her husband.”
I fail to see anything either romantic or comedic about that premise. Rapey is still rapey, and it happening to a man this time around doesn’t make it funny. It makes it pretty fucking gross.
There are some movies that should never be remade. In some cases, they’re garbage to begin with. In others, they were naively made during a time before people recognized how offensive they were. You don’t see anyone suggesting a remake of “Mandingo,” do you? It’s because we’re smarter now. We know it’s inappropriate to use slavery as an excuse to film a loosely scripted porno. So why can’t we see it’s also fucking inappropriate to use kidnapping as a premise in a romantic god damn comedy, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator?