Directed by Garry Marshall and produced by Roddy McDowall (who also plays a butler), Overboard received mixed reviews when it was first released in 1987, but it has proven to be immensely watchable. It’s a film that skillfully shifts the audience’s sympathies. At first, we hate Joanna and sympathize with Dean; then, as Joanna’s punishment goes on, we start to dislike Dean and feel sorry for “Annie”; and by the finale, we somehow end up liking them both because they were meant for each other.
The main appeal of the film is not only the memorable performances by Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn but the satisfaction it provides the viewer. Despite the cruelty involved, it’s satisfying to see a woman so pompous and vapid brought down a peg to see that the earth doesn’t revolve around her. It’s satisfying to watch said woman improve a chaotic, cluttered family and singlehandedly make their “hovel” a home. It’s satisfying to see unabashed romance reign supreme at sea.
Goldie Hawn gets to play two very different roles in one, both as her vain heiress persona and the more down-to-earth woman she becomes once she, like a certain Emperor, finds a new groove. Kurt Russell may not be the ideal Prince Charming, but once Dean has come to his senses by the end, it’s obvious why Annie chose him, especially compared to narcissistic Grant, played by a hilarious Edward Herrmann. Much of the humor stems from the bizarre past life that Dean invents for his so-called “wife” and the fish-out-of-water scenes in which Annie tries to cope with her new environment. The film also has a great soundtrack and some very funny lines, such as when Annie first hears one kid speak like Pee-wee Herman and questions “A falsetto child?” The end especially is a classic among romantic comedies and caps off the film perfectly. Despite some rear nudity and some profanity and crass dialogue, including from the kids unfortunately, Overboard is still thoroughly amusing entertainment.
Best line: (Grant, thinking Joanna is insane when he is) “Do we have a straitjacket on board? (Dr. Korman, a psychologist on the yacht) “I always carry one, yes. [a little later] You’re overwrought, Grant. I want you to take a Valium. Here, take one of mine.”Artistry: 7 Characters/Actors: 9 Entertainment: 10 Visual Effects: N/A Originality: 9 Watchability: 10 Other (overall satisfaction): +4 Other (language, etc.): -2 TOTAL: 47 out of 60
Next: #148 – Kramer vs. Kramer
© 2014 S. G. Liput
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