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"Overboard" - {Blu-ray}
Samantha Isler
Studio: MGM
Release Date:
July 5 2011
Special Features:

Theatrical Trailer


By no means an outstanding movie, "Overboard" nonetheless fits snugly into the "guilty pleasure" category. First released in 1987, this romantic comedy manages to take an unsettling premise and pull humor out of it. The movie revolves around Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn), rich socialite, who hires carpenter Dean Proffit (Kurt Russell) to modify her yacht. She ends up refusing to pay him for what she sees as sub-par work, dismisses him violently, and ends up falling off the yacht in a completely unrelated incident. When Dean discovers she has amnesia, he takes her home and convinces her she's the mother of his four boys, figuring he can get a month's worth of housework out of her as payment for his labor. Things go as you would expect them to go in a romantic comedy, and nobody gets arrested for any of the many unethical things that happen, and everybody lives happily ever after.***

Let me get one thing out of the way. This movie is terrifying. It has lots of horrible implications to it, and could very well still inspire a decent psychological thriller (or already has, for all I know). Even leaving out all the underhanded manipulation both parties are responsible for, and ignoring the fact that the whole thing could have been avoided if Dean had just sued her or something, there's also the deeply disturbing fact that the stereotype of the nurturing woman is so firmly and unquestioningly supported. Nobody likes Joanna until she starts accepting and taking on the role of a mother (though admittedly, she's pretty much a bitch in the beginning). It's just creepy, and if the characters weren't just so darned charming this movie would have plummeted to disaster, and never would have aged as finely as it did.***

Instead, Russell and Hawn somehow skate around the plot and deliver some very fun performances, and the child actors back up their screen parents nicely. In the true nature of slapstick comedy, awful things happen to characters and go unnoticed because they happen in such an outlandish manner. Somehow, despite all its antifeminism and manipulation, the movie delivers. It defies explanation, or perhaps requires far too much explanation to be described in anything less than a sixty-page research paper complete with appendices. Either way, we'll just leave it at that and say, as long as you don't think about it too hard, you'll be thoroughly entertained by these comedy legends.***

Image and Sound:

The Blu-ray treatment has added regrettably little to this re-release. With the image transferred to 1080p and 1.85:1, there appear to be some shots that come in slightly grainy or speckled. It is still an improvement over previous home releases, but nothing to brag about and certainly not an exceptional difference.*** ---

Special Features:

We are provided only with the original theatrical trailer, which is regrettable. That being said, MGM appears to be adding as few special features as possible to their re-releases in order to keep the Blu-ray price relatively low.*** ---

Final Words:

A solid classic that maintains guilty pleasure status in the world of romantic comedy, "Overboard" is a film that most will enjoy. Don't jump at the chance to own it on Blu-ray, however, since this version is sadly lacking in extra goodies and visual improvements.***


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