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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Overboard (3½ Stars)

This is a review of the 1987 film starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. I decided to watch it again today because of the new version which will be shown in the cinemas next month.

Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn), an obnoxious rich woman, is taking a cruise on her luxury yacht. She hires a carpenter because of an emergency on board. This emergency is that the cupboard isn't big enough to hold all her shoes. Poor woman! The hard-working carpenter Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell) does an excellent job in record time, but she refuses to pay him, because the new cupboard is made out of oak. As everyone knows – or at least, as every rich woman knows – cupboards should be made out of cedar. When he demands his money Dean and his tools are thrown overboard, so he hasn't just worked for nothing, he's made a loss.

A few weeks later there's a storm, and Joanna is swept overboard. She survives, but she has amnesia after hitting her head. She's taken to a psychiatric ward while the authorities try to figure out who she is. Dean sees her picture on television, so he decides to take revenge. He says she's his wife Annie and takes her home with him. He lives in a rundown little shack and looks after his four children alone after the death of his wife. Despite having no memories of her former life Joanna feels that it's wrong, but she grows accustomed to her new life. She grows to love the children and her new/old husband.

I know this film is very popular, so my relatively low rating will annoy a lot of people. There are many little scenes in the film that make me laugh, but overall I don't enjoy it. I had to sit for a while to figure out why it doesn't appeal to me. There are a few reasons.

I don't like amnesia in films. It seems like an artificial construct that makes anything possible.

Joanna Stayton is extremely disagreeable at the beginning of the film, and even in her amnesia phase she's almost as bad, so I had problems warming to her when she finally became an acceptable human being.

Kurt Russell is a pleasant, likeable rogue throughout, but what sort of a man would lie to a woman to get her into his family? At least he doesn't force her into his bed, but he tells her that's where she belongs.

The plot is predictable, but that isn't one of my criticisms. Romantic comedies are always predictable. Joanna regains her memory and hates Dean for what he's done to her. Then she realises that she loves him after all. That's not a spoiler because you guessed it already, didn't you?

I probably won't change anyone's mind with my review. If you like it you'll go on liking it, but it's not for me. I'll almost certainly go to see the new version. I've heard that the male-female roles are reversed, so I'll probably like it more.

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