Review: ‘Overboard’

Overboard is an uninspiring, unsophisticated attempt at an updated screwball comedy that is brought down by plodding script and a handful of too broadly drawn characters. Only element that occasionally lifts pic is the work of the redoubtable Goldie Hawn, who gives a gem of a performance.

Overboard is an uninspiring, unsophisticated attempt at an updated screwball comedy that is brought down by plodding script and a handful of too broadly drawn characters. Only element that occasionally lifts pic is the work of the redoubtable Goldie Hawn, who gives a gem of a performance.

Hawn plays Joanna Stayton, a millionaire wife who decides it’s time to have her yacht’s closet remodeled. On deck comes Kurt Russell as carpenter Dean Proffitt, whose performance doesn’t seem to go beyond affable or angry. She fires him and, shortly thereafter, pushes him overboard.

Her comeuppance is the kind of revenge only found in film – Joanna falls off the boat trying to retrieve her wedding rock, and washes back on the Elk Cove shore with a nasty case of amnesia. Proffitt sees her on TV and devises a scheme to claim her as his wife Annie.

There is little to do but sit back and admire Hawn’s performance, as she splendidly transforms herself from rich bitch to caring wife. Supporting roles are mostly pedestrian, except for a sweet, funny turn by Michael Hagerty, as Russell’s best friend and a graduate of the John Candy School of Cinematic Oafishness.

Overboard

Production

M-G-M. Director Garry Marshall; Producer Anthea Sylbert, Alexandra Rose; Screenplay Leslie Dixon; Camera John A. Alonzo; Editor Dov Hoenig, Sonny Baskin; Music Alan Silvestri; Art Director James Shanahan, Jim Dultz

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Goldie Hawn Kurt Russell Edward Herrmann Katherine Helmond Michael Hagerty Roddy McDowall
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