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Film: Overboard

A 1987 romantic comedy starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. Joanna is a Rich Bitch living with all the creature comforts on a yacht with her husband Grant. While bored during a stopover for repairs in the small town of Elk Cove, Oregon, Joanna hires a local carpenter, Dean, to remodel her closet. Despite the closet being exactly what she asked for, she declares it to be sub-par, stiffs him on the bill, and throws him and his tool box overboard.

After leaving port that night, Joanna goes up on deck to retrieve her wedding ring. She falls overboard and washes up near Elk Cove with amnesia. Her husband, although he comes to see her, does not retrieve her, instead taking the yacht for an extended party with younger women. Dean, however, sees Joanna on the news and decides that a little payback is in order: he tells her that her name is Annie and she is his wife and the mother of his four sons and plans to have her work off her debt by doing domestic chores.

Unfortunately for him, she has never so much as touched a kitchen or cleaning implement in her life. Hilarity Ensues.

Not to be confused with the newspaper comic strip Overboard. Or the pirate game Overboard!


This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: "Annie", at first, calls Travis "Roy" repeatedly.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Averted. Dean not only asserts that he would never touch Joanna due to her vile personality (no matter how good she looks), but refuses to sleep with "Annie" until after the two of them truly fall in love.
    • He actually goes the extra mile and does everything he can to put her off sex, such as pouring a shot of cheap booze on his shirt and pretending to be completely wasted.
  • Amnesiac Lover: Played with, while Dean and Annie were never married, she and he do fall in love with each other.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Averted. "Annie" may not have Joanna's memories, but she is still every inch a Rich Bitch.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A minor one, but Dean points out that it's a little hard for him to not hear Joanna and Grant talking about him when they're directly above him. Shortly thereafter, the entire ship hears him as he gives Joanna a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Joanna has her snarky moments, especially when she acts like a Rich Bitch:
    Joanna: What's my maiden name?
    Dean: Annie...Goolihy.
    Joanna: Annie...Goolihy? Where in God's name did I grow up? Dog Patch?
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Annie.
  • Dream Sequence: During "Annie's" first night at Dean's house, water drops hitting piano keys from a leaky roof cause her to dream of being at a New Year's Eve party (with the pianist playing the same tune the water drops make).
  • Finding A Bra In Your Car: At one point, Annie finds her own lacy panties in Dean's glove box. They're not only miles above the quality of her current underwear, but also monogrammed with her real initials. She naturally assumes Dean is having an affair.
  • Forgotten Birthday: Played with. Dean is trying to come clean to Annie, but just can't work up the nerve, so he covers by telling her that the important revelation is that he forgot her birthday.
  • Ignored Confession: When Annie finds her own monogrammed panties in the truck and accuses Dean of cheating, he uses the opportunity to confess the whole scheme to her. She completely ignores it, thinking he's just trying to talk his way out of the affair.
    • It helps that his sons have grown to love Annie and refuse to acknowledge the reveal. Dean's best friend then "admits" that the panties belong to a hooker he slept with his Dean's truck. When Dean asks why, the friend says that Annie is the best thing that ever happened to Dean.
  • I Am Who?: Dean initially withholds the information about Annie's real past out of spite, but as he grows closer to her it becomes more out of fear of losing her.
  • Jerkass:
    • Grant, who possibly crosses over into Magnificent Bastard territory when he abandons his amnesiac wife to a mental hospital so he can run off with the or rather her money and play with young "actresses."
    • Dean, at first, until he starts to like "Annie."
  • Mama Bear: Annie becomes one to the boys.
  • Meaningful Name: Dean Proffitt.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Dean's first wife and mother of his boys is only briefly mentioned. Dean informs the principal that she passed on three years ago.
    • When Joanna regains her memories and goes home, she becomes this for the boys, who heartbeakingly cry "You said Moms don't leave!"at her limo as they drive off.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Joanna's string bikini.
  • Opera Gloves: Only on the movie poster, pictured above.
  • Princess in Rags: The central joke of the film, although Annie isn't really consciously aware of what she's lost. Ultimately subverted when it looks like she chooses her new family over her wealth, but in actuality, the fortune was always hers, not her husband Grant's.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Joanna loses all of her memories, but still retains all her previous skills, and attitude.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Played for Character Development. Before her accident, Joanna is a spoilt, tempestuous diva to her long-suffering butler and the other staff. After her accident, when she returns to her former life she finds she is able to connect much better with them than her old friends and family, and expresses remorse for her previous cruelty and thoughtlessness to them.
  • Real-Life Relative: Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are, of course, a couple in real life.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    You know what your problem is? Huh? You're so goddamn bored, you gotta invent things to bitch about. You haven't got a single thing to do except for your hair. Yeah! The closet was fine! You just needed somethin' to take up your useless, empty, nail-polishing, toe-polishing, rich-bitch, sun tanning days!
    • Due to being up on deck and the acoustics of the ship, Dean's rant is quite audible to most of the rest of the crew. The servants break out in applause.
    • Joanna gets her turn later, when she calls out Dean as a bad father who fails to notice how uncared for and undisciplined his children are. She also calls out the kids' teacher, who thought that they were faking being sick to get out of the test, and somehow missed that they all had massive rashes from poison oak.
  • Rich Bitch: Joanna and her mother.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: All of Joanna's family, but especially apparent with Joanna, who has no idea how to prepare food or clean a house.
  • Sleep Mask:
    • The main character's mother is wearing one of these when the yacht is turned around in the middle of the night.
    • Annie also uses one of the boys' costume masks as one.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The story of Katarina and Arturo, which becomes a Meaningful Echo at the film's climax. Made more meaningful considering it's just another instance of Dean's masterful off-the-cuff bullshit that's defined their relationship.
  • Stealth Pun: When Dean says that he bought "the good stuff" for her birthday, Annie remarks that she's never had anything like it. She thinks it's because the champagne is expensive, but it's really because at "seven dollars a pop" she's never drunk anything so cheap.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" is playing in a scene where it becomes obvious Dean is falling for Annie.


Outrageous FortuneFilms of the 1980sOver the Top

alternative title(s): Overboard
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