Overboard (1987 film)

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Overboard film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGarry Marshall
Produced by
Written byLeslie Dixon
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyJohn A. Alonzo
Edited by
  • Sonny Baskin
  • Dov Hoenig
Star Partners Ltd.
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 18, 1987 (1987-12-18)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$22 million[2]
Box office$26.7 million[1]

Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, written by Leslie Dixon, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell,[3] and produced by Roddy McDowall, who also co-stars. The film's soundtrack was composed by Alan Silvestri. Although it opened to mixed reviews and was a box office disappointment, Overboard has become a cult film and has been remade several times. In 1992, it was adapted in the Indian film Ek Ladka Ek Ladki, in 2006, it was adapted into the South Korean television series Couple or Trouble and in 2018 it was remade with Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez. The plot of the 1997 Malayalam film Mayaponman, is loosely based on this film.


Heiress Joanna Stayton is accustomed to a wealthy life with her own yacht and fortune, along with her husband Grant Stayton III. While waiting for her yacht to be repaired in the fictional town of Elk Cove, Oregon, Joanna hires local carpenter Dean Proffitt, a widower with four sons, to remodel her closet. He produces quality work, which is dismissed by her because he used oak instead of cedar, despite her not having requested this at the start.

Dean agrees to redo the closet if he is paid for the work he has already done, but Joanna refuses to pay and they have an argument, during which he berates her for her arrogant and pompous attitude (which the crew of the yacht overhear and applauded). This results in an angry Joanna throwing Dean and his tool kit into the water. That night, as the yacht sails away, Joanna goes on deck to retrieve her wedding ring, but loses her balance 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. Once Grant learns of this, he initially heads to pick her up, but after seeing her mental state, he deliberately abandons her and returns to the yacht to have parties with younger women, as he intends to have Joanna's fortune to himself.

After seeing her story on the news, Dean seeks revenge by encouraging Joanna to work off her unpaid bill. Despite pleas from his best friend Billy not to follow this through, Dean goes to the hospital and tells her that she is his wife Annie and the mother of his four sons. She reluctantly goes home with him and is appalled by his residence.

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 falls in love with him and develops motherly love toward his sons, and starts streamlining the money problems with more efficient budgeting. Joanna also convinces Dean to be a responsible father to his sons as he previously brushed off their issues at school.

Joanna makes Dean's dream come true by helping him design a miniature golf course. Although he has also fallen in love with her, he does not tell her the truth about her real identity for fear that she will leave. Eventually, after four months, Joanna's mother Edith learns about Joanna's fate and threatens to have Grant hunted down, forcing him to reluctantly end the partying and return to Elk Cove to retrieve Joanna, whose memory is restored upon seeing him. Realizing the horrible truth of what just happened, a distraught Joanna returns with Grant to their yacht, which is headed for New York.

Joanna finds her old lifestyle boring as she is offended by how rude Grant and Edith treat the boat staff. She apologizes to her butler Andrew and the boat crew for her spiteful treatment towards them, and soon realizes how happy she was with Dean and his sons, prompting her to turn the yacht back towards Elk Cove. The next morning, when Grant finds out that Joanna has changed course, he becomes insane and takes charge of the boat, admitting that he purposely abandoned Joanna and had numerous affairs with other women in her absence. Dean and the boys arrive on a Coast Guard boat to rescue Joanna, but are called away due to a sighting of salmon poachers. Dean grabs a life jacket and swims towards the yacht, and Joanna does likewise. An insane Grant furiously takes aim at Joanna with a bow and arrow, only to be booted overboard by Andrew. After reuniting with Dean, Joanna assures that she will divorce Grant for his infidelity so that she can marry Dean and have his sons inherit her fortune. Joanna also suggests having a daughter with Dean as a new member of the family, just as they kiss while the boat sails off into the sunset.



Box office[edit]

The film made $1.9 million in its first weekend, $2.9 million in its second (+34%) and $3.9 million in its third (+54%), totaling $26.7 million by the end of its run.[1]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 45% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's comedic chops elevate waterlogged material, but not even their buoyant chemistry can keep Overboard's creepy concept afloat".[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.

Variety praised Hawn's performance, but called the film "an uninspiring, unsophisticated attempt at an updated screwball comedy that is brought down by plodding script and a handful of too broadly drawn characters."[6] 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."[7] 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."[8] 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."[9]

The film has gone on to be considered a cult classic.[2][10]


A reimagined film of the same name, starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez, was released on May 4, 2018. The main roles are reversed from the 1987 original. Derbez portrays 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.

The 1997 Malayalam film Mayaponman is another loose adaptation.

The 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.

The 2013 Russian miniseries Wife Rented (Zhena naprokat, Жена напрокат) is also a loose adaptation of the film.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Overboard (1987)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ a b "30 Years Later: Why Overboard Needed Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell". Vanity Fair. December 25, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Revenge of the epic movie flops". London: Independent. April 12, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Overboard". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  5. ^ "Overboard Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "Overboard". Variety. December 31, 1986. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  7. ^ "Overboard". Washington Post. December 16, 1987. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "Overboard". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  9. ^ Wilmington, Michael (December 18, 1987). "MOVIE REVIEW : Hawn Keeps 'Overboard' From Sinking". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  10. ^ McHenry, Jackson. "Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell Watched Overboard and Fell in Love Again".
  11. ^ Gonzales, Umberto. "'Overboard' Remake: Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez Set to Star". The Wrap. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (July 20, 2017). "Anna Faris-Eugenio Derbez Comedy 'Overboard' Lands April Release". Variety. Retrieved July 29, 2017.

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