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Movie Review: Overboard

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Somewhat of a cult comedy classic, Overboard features the comedic talents of true-life couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell on full display. With an unusual plot, but a tried and true romantic device, Overboard remains an interesting and entertaining movie. If you like watching movies for fun, and not for symbolism or to find something that 'speaks' to you, then Overboard will fit in nicely with your plans.

Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) is a spoiled and arrogant elitist who basks in the pampered lifestyle her wealth affords her. Taking a sabbatical on her yacht, she hires a carpenter, Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell), to build her a customized closet on the oversized boat. But when Dean and Joanna get into argument over the cost of the transaction, she gets angry, refuses to pay, and sets sail for the big blue. However, when Joanna falls overboard at sea, she injures her head and washes ashore with amnesia.

Still steaming from their earlier encounter, Dean finds Joanna and quickly realizes what has happened. Out of a sense of revenge (or vigilante justice), he tells Joanna that she's his wife — and the mother of his four children, Charlie (Jared Rushton), Joey (Jeffrey Wiseman), Travis (Brian Price), and Greg (Jamie Wild). In exchange for being stiffed earlier, Dean works Joanna silly in order to make up for his monetary loss. Eventually, though, Joanna discovers her true identity — but things aren't so simple when she realizes that she's now in love with Dean.

Hilarious and fun in a family-oriented way, Overboard is one of those films you either love or hate. If you're into dramas and reality-based plots, Overboard isn't for you. Like the Seinfeld pilot Jerry and George create (where a judge sentences a man to be Jerry's butler), Overboard has a similar plot about a carpenter who gets stiffed for the money he's owed, so he unilaterally 'sentences' the woman to be his wife (or butler in Seinfeld's case). In short, it's a bit loony. But in this instance it works.

With standout comedic performances by Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, and various others, Overboard is a memorable and light-hearted romantic comedy you won't want to miss. Most of the humor derives from the circumstances (plus people's emotional inclination to want to see rich snobs get what's coming to them). Regardless of what aspects a viewer most prefers, Overboard has a little bit of something for everybody, and that's probably why it's built such a large following. Due to the fact that it's a really funny movie and quite a few people count it among their favorites, Overboard ranks as fine family film.

Britt's Rating: 7.6/10

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  • jim

    i love this movie