73. Overboard

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Movie: Overboard

Release Date: December 18, 1987

Director: Garry Marshall

Starring: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrman, Katherine Helmond, Roddy McDowell.

Tag Lines: “From opulence… to rags… to love.”

“She was born to spend. He was born to offend. There’s only one way they could fall in love… by accident.”

Relevance: ‘Overboard’ was released in the winter of 1987 to very poor reviews. It was also considered a huge box office disappointment as it barely grossed more than its budget. With that said, it has over the years become a cult classic, spawning two remakes as well as an adapted South Korean television series. I am proud to say that I have been a huge fan and supporter of the movie since I saw it in theaters way back in 1987 and has since become one of my favorite comedies of all time.

I was sixteen years old in 1987 and my life was typical for that time and age. I went to school, worked part time as a busboy in a fancy restaurant, listened to music (mostly Madonna), hung out with friends, went to the mall to “socialize” and went on dates to the movies. I never really had a serious girlfriend during my teenage years. I did however date one girl off and on over a course of four years. I wrote a little bit about her on this blog before (see 80. The Seventh Sign). ‘Overboard’ was one of our “date” movies, although I don’t think we went alone. We hung out with the same group of friends, so a lot of our dates were group dates. Sounds kinky, but I went to Catholic school, so it was completely innocent.

The reason I remember that I went to see this movie with her was due to her “little game” she played during the movie. Every time someone in the film jumped ship or fell into the water, she would say “Overboard.” I did not play along. I was actually a tad annoyed. In fact I am sure we entered an “off” again phase of our relationship shortly after seeing this movie. With that said, I did not let that eye roll inducing game prohibit me from enjoying the film. I thoroughly enjoyed the laugh out loud comedy and couldn’t wait to see it again.

When ‘Overboard’ became available as a rental, I did just that, so that my family could see the movie. My mom was a huge fan of Goldie Hawn, as well as Kurt Russell, and it was totally her kind of movie, a romantic comedy with a happy ending. My mom loved the movie and laughed just as much, if not more, than I did. When it played on HBO, it was one of those films that seemed to be playing all the time. And we never cared. We sat, watched and laughed.

I also shared the love of this movie with a very dear friend of mine. We met as Freshman in high school and she and I immediately clicked. We have remained true blue friends to this very day. In fact, she is more than a friend, she is family and I don’t know what I would do if she were not in my life. She has a stupendous sense of humor (she is funny, and I know funny) and we have spent numerous hours laughing. Early in our friendship, one of those things we laughed incessantly about was ‘Overboard.’

We talked about and quoted this movie the last two years of our high school experience incessantly. Although I don’t recall a specific time, I am sure we watched the movie together as well. It was one of the ‘recorded on a blank VHS tape’ movies in my family movie collection. It was one that we watched a lot, and I’m sure that my friend joined in at least once or twice while hanging out at my house. I can’t tell you how many times we would say, “I like it when she goes bu-bu-bu-bu-bu” or “I’m itchy and I want to go home” as we crossed paths in our high school halls. Our quoting and adoration of this movie continues to this day and every single time we mention it we laugh. That is a sign and true testament of a great comedy.

I am not really sure what critics and audiences didn’t like about ‘Overboard,’ but it was completely their loss. The film may be simple in premise but its execution was infallible and Goldie Hawn was never better. The movie has caused so much laughter in my life either while watching it or talking about it with friends and family. I have found even more friends throughout the years that share my enthusiasm about this film. Once someone says they are a fan, I know I found a friend for life. ‘Overboard’ remains a part of my movie collection (now on DVD) and one that I will continue to watch until my dying day, if only to hear Goldie Hawn say, “I’m a short, fat, slut” or “I…ate a bug.” Priceless!

Today’s Thoughts: “These gnats keep landing on my wet nail polish. I guess I’m supposed to walk around with their little corpses stuck to my fingers, is that it?… It’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to sit out here in the brine with your perm frizzing to oblivion. I look like a bushman.”

There are so many great lines and quotes from ‘Overboard’ it is just way to difficult to pick a favorite. I have been quoting them with friends and family since 1987, and it shows no signs of stopping. And it’s infectious. At least once a week my husband will randomly yell out, “It’s a helluva day at sea, Sir!”

‘Overboard’ is beautifully directed by Garry Marshall and its cast is glorious. Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond, Roddy McDowell and the rest of the ensemble are all hysterically perfect. Even Hector Elizondo in his small cameo is laugh out loud funny, although that is no surprise as he is always spot on. This movie is always so much fun to watch, always puts me in a good mood and always, always makes me laugh out loud.

Apparently yesterday and today was a Garry Marshall (and Hector Elizondo) double feature on my blog (see 74. Pretty Woman), but it is not the last time they will appear on my list of most influential movies of all time. Mr. Marshall really has been involved with so many great classic, influential films, I feel indebted to him. ‘Overboard’ as well as so many others, has given me so much happiness and glee over the years with no end in sight.

Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu. Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.

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