Overboard (PG)
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Caution: spoilers.

This came out in 1987, and I think I must have first seen it on VHS sometime in the late 80s. Since we owned it, I saw it a number of times over the years, though I was rarely if ever the one who chose to play it, as far as I recall. I think in general I found a lot of it kind of lame, but there were also plenty of bits I found reasonably amusing. And because I was so used to seeing it in my youth, it has in retrospect become a bit nostalgic to me, in spite of its never having been a particular favorite of mine. (I also have a vague recollection of being in like seventh or eighth grade, when I guess some of my classmates were discussing the movie. Perhaps one or more of the boys had said that Goldie Hawn's character was... unattractive, or unsexy, or something like that. I probably came into the conversation late, and then one of the girls asked me... I forget the exact words, but basically she wanted to know if I agreed with that assessment, and I was like "No-o-o-o-o!" Because, of course, I thought the exact opposite. And if I recall, the girls appreciated my response.)

Still, aside from both the things I liked about the movie and the things I didn't, there's something more specific about it that I have always had a problem with, but I'll get to that later. First, I want to explain the plot. I should say, though, that it's one of the many movies I saw years and years ago that I always thought I'd eventually get on DVD, just so I could re-watch it and write a review. But then one day in 2015, the movie randomly popped into my head... and then I had a thought that made me decide I probably don't want to ever watch it again, after all. Still, I do feel the need to write a review, so I'm doing so without re-watching it. I must say, if not for this thought I just had, I would surely have rated it higher than "meh," probably somewhere between one and a half and two smileys. But now... I just can't.

So... Goldie Hawn plays Joanna Stayton, who... well, there's no getting around it, she's a stereotypical "rich bitch." She's on a yachting trip with her husband, Grant (Edward Herrmann). One day they're near a small Oregon town, and Joanna hires a local carpenter named Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell) to remodel her closet, on the yacht. When he's done with the job, she decides she's not happy with his work (even though he'd done a really good job), so she refuses to pay him, and throws him overboard. Later that night, Joanna falls overboard herself, and gets amnesia. She winds up in a local hospital, and Grant later goes to get her, but ultimately decides he'd be happier without her, so he denies knowing her. Then Dean sees her on the news, and decides to go to the hospital and claim she's his wife, Annie. (Dean is a widower living with four rambunctious sons.) He intends to tell her the truth about her identity eventually, but first he wants to trick her into doing housework for him for awhile, until he feels she has worked off what she owes him for the work he'd done for her. Of course, "Annie" has trouble accepting him and "their" kids, at first, because even with amnesia, she's still kind of a bitch, and definitely spoiled, so she can't stand their humble lifestyle.

Over time, because this is a "romantic comedy," Annie's personality begins to soften, and she and Dean fall in love. And she helps him achieve his dream of building a"Seven Wonders of the World" mini-golf course. Meanwhile, Grant is busy having parties on the yacht, with a bunch of young hotties (with whom he's presumably also sleeping). But eventually, Joanna's mother, Edith (Katherine Helmond) forces Grant to "find" her daughter, and so he does. And as soon as Annie sees Grant, her memories come flooding back, and she realizes who Dean actually is. So she goes back to the yacht with Grant. But of course she soon realizes she doesn't love Grant anymore (if she ever did), especially when she finds out he had initially left her in the hospital. Meanwhile, Dean decides to go after "Annie," because he's in love with her. And the two of them jump off their respective boats and swim to each other, after calling each other "Katarina" and "Arturo," referencing a tragic romantic legend that had been mentioned earlier in the movie. (I have no idea if there really is such a legend, or if it was made up for the movie.) Anyway... I'm leaving out a few details, but that's pretty much what happened in the movie. And they all lived happily ever after.

Here's the thing that always bothered me, though: what Dean did was utterly inexcusable. Yes, what Joanna did was also inexcusable, and shitty, and presumably illegal. I expect he could have just sued her (I don't remember if that was even mentioned in the film), but he didn't. I feel like if he had done that, he could have won, but he probably couldn't afford a lawyer. (Maybe that was mentioned as the reason he didn't even try? I dunno.) But regardless of how shitty Joanna's behavior was, Dean's was even shittier. I did appreciate the fact that he waited to have sex with his "wife" until after they'd fallen in love, but even so... it always bothered me that she didn't really have the ability to truly love him, if she didn't even know the truth about her own identity. So, I'm not sure if I ever put it into words or not, but if so, I would have called the situation "tantamount to rape." (Incidentally, before starting this review, I looked up the word "tantamount," which I have always assumed meant "practically," because as far as I could tell, whenever I've heard it used in any context, it seemed to me that that's what the speaker meant. But apparently it actually means "equivalent," in which case it seems to me to be a pointless word, in most contexts. If something is equivalent to a thing, then with few exceptions, it is that thing. Maybe. Or maybe I've just been misunderstanding it and misusing it all these years. Anyway, I should say... I always thought the situation in this movie was practically rape.)

And then on this one day in 2015, when the movie randomly popped into my head, what occurred to me was this: It wasn't "tantamount to" or "practically" rape. It was rape. (Obviously Joanna didn't see it that way. And I'm sure there are plenty of women who are fans of the movie, and wouldn't consider it rape, within the context of that fictional story. Some of those women very well might feel differently if a similar situation happened to them in real life, and some might not. However they feel about their own experiences, whether real or hypothetical, is their business. I wouldn't argue with them... unless they claimed that because they wouldn't consider it rape, that anyone else would be wrong to consider it such. Then, oh yes, I would argue.) Anyway... now that I think of it as rape, I can't imagine I'll ever want to watch the movie again.


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