Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Overboard; Comedy, USA, 1987; D: Garry Marshall, S: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Hermann
Carpenter Dean is summoned to a luxurious yacht where he meets the rich Grant and her even richer and more spoiled girlfriend Joanna, who wants a bigger closet. However, after the job is done, she isn't pleased, refuses to pay him and throws him off the yacht. When she herself falls overboard during night and develops amnesia, Dean decides to teach her some humbleness: he introduces himself as her husband and brings her to his washed-up home and his four problematic kids. Though startled, Joanna accepts her role and actually turns into a role-model mother. When Grant finds her, she regains her memory and goes back to her yacht. However, she realizes it isn't what she wants and returns to Dean.
Few comedies managed to take the predictable concept of an unlikely couple, a man and a woman who constantly fight but in the end fall in love, and make it look enchanting, like Capra's timeless masterwork "It Happened One Night", while in the most cases it turned into a predictable film. Director Garry Marshall's and screenwriter Leslie Dixon's "Overboard" is an easily watchable, but standard flick of the genre which gains a few plus points from the amusing plot that spoofs amnesia, in which Russell's character Dean presents himself as Hawn's character's Joanna husband, yet only in the first 30 minutes of the film, before it loses steam and spends too much time on forced gags, like the kids pouring anything on Joanna's clothes or Joanna stepping on some bubble gum on the floor. Likewise, that plot was used in a much more engaging manner in Medem's "Red Squirrel". The best moment arrives when Dean finally confronts the ever spoiled, rich Joanna on the yacht: "You know what your problem is? You are so goddamn bored, you have to invent things to bitch about! You don't have a single thing to do on this earth except for your hair! The closet was fine, you just needed something to fill up your useless, nail-polishing, toe-polishing, sun-tanning days". In the end, "Overboard" is an easily watchable, but typically mild piece of entertainment.