Overboard (film)

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Overboard film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Garry Marshall
Produced by
Written by Leslie Dixon
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography John A. Alonzo
Edited by
  • Sonny Baskin
  • Dov Hoenig
Star Partners Ltd.
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 16, 1987 (1987-12-16)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
Country United States
  • English
Box office $26.7 million

Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, written by Leslie Dixon, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell,[2] and produced by Roddy McDowall (who costars). The film's soundtrack was composed by Alan Silvestri. In 2006, it was adapted into the South Korean television series Couple or Trouble.


Spoiled, selfish heiress Joanna Stayton is accustomed to a wealthy life with her husband, Grant Stayton III. While waiting for their yacht to be repaired in the rural hamlet of Elk Cove, Oregon, she hires local carpenter Dean Proffitt to remodel her closet. He puts up with her rude and condescending attitude and produces quality work which is dismissed by her because he used oak instead of cedar, despite her not having specifically requested this at the start. He agrees to redo the closet if he is paid for the work he has already done; she refuses to pay and they have an argument, during which he notes that she is inventing things to complain about because her life is so pampered and boring. This is overheard by the yacht's crew on the intercom, who applaud him for telling her off. Their argument concludes with her pushing him off the ship.

That night, as the yacht sails away, Joanna goes on deck to retrieve her wedding ring and falls overboard. The next day, a story is aired on the local TV news about her having been picked out of the water by a garbage scow. She is suffering from amnesia and is taken to the local hospital, where no one can determine her identity. Once Grant discovers she has fallen overboard, he sails back to retrieve her. After seeing her mental state and her lashing out at hospital employees, he denies knowing her and returns to the yacht to embark on a spree of parties with younger women.

After seeing her story on the news, Dean, who is a widower living in squalor with four sons, seeks revenge by getting Joanna to work off her unpaid bill. He goes to the hospital and tells her that she is Annie, his wife for thirteen years and the mother of his four sons. Dean lacks legal documentation to take her home, but is granted her release after telling the hospital staff about a small birthmark on her buttock, which he saw on the yacht when she was wearing a revealing swimsuit. She reluctantly goes home with him and is appalled by his residence, but feels some obligation to pitch in, having come to think of herself as "Annie".

Joanna initially has difficulty dealing with Dean's sons and the heavy load of chores, but she soon adapts. As she masters her responsibilities, she learns about the boys' school and family issues and that Dean is secretly working two jobs to pay bills. She begins to fall in love with him and to develop motherly love toward his sons, and starts streamlining the money problems with more efficient budgeting. Joanna also convinces Dean to step up and be a father to his sons rather than simply be their friend, as his sons are doing poorly in school and struggle with literacy, yet he simply brushes these issues aside rather than fixing them.

Seeing Dean struggle, Joanna makes his dream come true by helping him design a miniature golf course based on her untapped knowledge of the Seven Wonders of the World. Although he has also fallen in love with her, he doesn't tell her the truth about her real identity for fear that she will leave. Billy, a friend who created doctored photos of the couple to cement the alibi of their prior relationship, tells Dean that his family needs Joanna.

Meanwhile, after Joanna's mother, Edith, threatens to castrate Grant (who has been continually lying that Joanna is "too indisposed" to talk to her) if he doesn't produce Joanna in one week, he reluctantly ends the partying and returns to Elk Cove to retrieve her, tracing her to the Proffitt residence. She greets him and her memory instantaneously restores. She is shocked and hurt when she realizes that Dean lied and has been using her for months. She returns with Grant to their yacht.

Joanna now finds her old lifestyle pretentious and is particularly offended by how rude and snobby her husband and mother act to the helpers on the boat. She apologizes to her butler, Andrew, for her spiteful treatment of him. He then helps Joanna to realize how happy she was with Dean and his sons. Joanna commandeers the yacht and turns back toward Elk Cove. When Grant finds out, Joanna says she doesn't love him anymore and Grant, in return, reveals that he never loved her and that he left her at the hospital upon seeing her there. After Dean and Joanna reunite, she tells him that all of the money is actually hers, not Grant's. As the kids make their Christmas lists in the middle of June (including a Porsche), Dean asks her what he could ever give her that she doesn't already have. Joanna looks at the four boys and replies "a little girl."



The film was given a mixed reception from critics. Based on 26 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 46% of critics enjoyed it, with an average rating of 5.1/10.[3] Variety praised Hawn's performance, but called it "an uninspiring, unsophisticated attempt at an updated screwball comedy that is brought down by plodding script and a handful of too broadly drawn characters."[4] Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called it "a deeply banal farce" with "one-dimensional characters, a good long look at her buttocks and lots of pathetic sex jokes."[5] Roger Ebert liked it; while calling it predictable, he wrote: "the things that make it special, however, are the genuine charm, wit and warm energy generated by the entire cast and director Garry Marshall."[6] The Los Angeles Times' review of it read: "The film tries to mix the two 1930s movie comedy strains: screwball romance and populist fable. But there's something nerveless and thin about it. Hawn and Russell are good, but their scenes together have a calculated spontaneity—overcute, obvious."[7]

The film has gone on to be considered a classic.[8][9]

Box office[edit]

The film was generally considered a mild success, having grossed nearly $27 million domestically.[10]


A reimagined film of the same name, starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez, is scheduled for release on May 4, 2018. The main roles are reversed from the 1987 original. Derbez will portray a wealthy man who falls off of his yacht and is found by Faris' character, a single mother who convinces him that he is her husband.[11][12]

A loose adaptation of Overboard is the 1992 Hindi film Ek Ladka Ek Ladki, directed by Vijay Sadanah and starring Salman Khan and Neelam Kothari.

2006 South Korean television show, Couple or Trouble, starring Han Ye-seul and Oh Ji-ho and directed by Kim Sang Ho is also a loose adaptation of the film.


  1. ^ "OVERBOARD (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. January 8, 1988. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Revenge of the epic movie flops". London: Independent. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Overboard". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Overboard". Variety. 1986-12-31. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  5. ^ "Overboard". Washington Post. 1987-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  6. ^ "Overboard". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  7. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1987-12-18). "MOVIE REVIEW : Hawn Keeps 'Overboard' From Sinking". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  8. ^ McHenry, Jackson. "Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell Watched Overboard and Fell in Love Again". 
  9. ^ "Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez to recreate Goldie Hawn's Overboard". 
  10. ^ "Overboard (1987) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. 
  11. ^ Gonzales, Umberto. "'Overboard' Remake: Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez Set to Star". The Wrap. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (20 July 2017). "Anna Faris-Eugenio Derbez Comedy 'Overboard' Lands April Release". Variety. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 

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