Overboard

Overboard

****

Reviewed by: Stephen Carty

Despite the fact that the only person you know who's likely to have seen it is your mum, Overboard is a fine romantic comedy. No, really it is. Admittedly, it's a little cheesy and fairly predictable, but more importantly than any of that, unlike too many rom-coms today, Garry Pretty Woman Marshall's small-town love-fest is charming in a natural kinda-way, often funny and boasts characters we really end up caring about.

Story-wise, there aren’t many surprises. Hiring carpenter Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell) to do some work inside her yacht while its being repaired in harbour town Elk Cove, rich bitch Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) then refuses to pay. However, after an accident later gives her amnesia, Dean takes revenge by tricking Joanna into thinking that she's his wife 'Annie' and the mother of his four unruly kids.

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As Dean tries to convince Joanna by way of a series of contrived events, at first she’s like a fish out of water, then she slowly begins to change for the better... but nobody expects her snooty, foppish husband (Edward Herrmann going ultra-posh) to turn up.

In a strange way, the formulaic nature of Overboard is comforting and one of the movie’s many strengths. It primarily works thanks to two winning performances from leads Russell and Hawn, translating real-life chemistry (to the non-Heat readers out there, they’re married, you know) to the screen. On the one hand Russell is loveable as the perma-sleevless manchild patriarch, on the other Hawn sells Joanna’s transformation from stuck-up Princess to moralistic country gal.

Predictable, cheesy and a little trite, but Overboard is an impossibly-charming rom-com that’ll win you over if you give it a chance. Much like The Proffitt clan…

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2010
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Overboard packshot
A wealthy woman dupes a carpenter, but when she ends up with amnesia he hatches a plot to get his own back.
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