1987 Movie Review: OVERBOARD, 1987

OVERBOARD, 1987
Movie Reviews

Directed by Garry Marshall

Starring Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond, Roddy McDowall

Review by Russell Hill

SYNOPSIS:

Rich bitch Joanna hires country carpenter Dean to build a closet on her yacht. When the two don’t see eye-to-eye, Dean is left unpaid while Joanna sets sail. The following day, Joanna is fished out of the sea, after falling overboard, suffering from amnesia. Dean sees a neat way to regain the money she owes him… he tells her she’s his wife; that way Dean gets a free housekeeper and mother for his four kids.

REVIEW:

First and foremost, I am not a huge fan of chick flicks. Heck I would even go as far to say that I despise the vast majority of these films. “Bridget Jones Diary” can stay far away from me but, over the years, I have come to like the odd film which is normally targeted at this market. I didn’t even know “Notting Hill” was one of these films, and thought “While You Were Sleeping” was a classic. “Overboard” was perhaps the first film I saw which could be seen as a chick flick that I actually enjoyed, with the reasons for this being numerous and heart felt.

Joanna Stayton (Hawn) is your typical yuppie who treats those who earn less than $1 million as muck. Stuck where to put her 2,000 or so pairs of shoes on her luxury cruise liner that she owns with husband Grant (Edward Hermann) she hires a handyman called Dean Proffitt (Russell) to build her a wardrobe. However, being the nasty person she is, Joanna takes a disliking to Dean and his uncouth manners and decides to push him off the boat and, literally, into the water.

Angry at what has just happened, Dean switches on the television at a local bar the next day to learn that during the night Joanna had been found off the coast by lifeguards with no Grant in sight and her memory gone. Dean sees an opportunity to get back the money he is owed by turning up by Joanna’s bedside and pretending to be her husband and saying that Joanna is not her real name, but is in fact Annie. The authorities fall for this as does Joanna, and is taken back to Dean’s ramshackle house in the country where she is tricked into looking after him and “their” four children who are about as clean as the house itself. Will Joanna ever leave? Or will she regain her memory and return to the life she once had?

On a personal level, this was the film which first exposed me to the music of Elvis Presley as one of the best scenes of the movie uses “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. But other than that, this movie does well on two points.

First, it makes you laugh. The genuine warmth between Hawn and Russell is touching and a relationship you can believe in. The interaction between the two is moving, and is blindingly obvious to see why they have been together in real life for so long. Hawn has always been a much underrated comic actress. Her leading role in the 1980 movie “Private Benjamin” was great, and her portrayal of spoiled Joanna was genius casting. Her naïve transformation from rags to riches is very amusing indeed, and it shows what an improvement she does with the dilapidated house she is forced to inherit along with the four children who, at first, look as though they had been taken from Dickensian London.

Russell too does very well here. His shabby appearance at first makes him seem like a cruel and unkind character, but over the course of the movie that appearance is changed permanently when he discovers what a wonderful person Joanna/Annie is when you take away the pearls and diamonds. I always find Russell’s acting career to be a bit of an oddity. Is he cast in a movie simply because the women can then drool over him? Or, is he to be taken as a serious actor? Here, in the role of Dean, he seems to act in the middle of these as he does show an Adonis body shot or two but also demonstrates what a fine actor he really is.

I admit that not many heterosexual men will appreciate this movie due to its romantic inklings, but if you take this element away you have a great movie full of humour and excellent acting by all involved.

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Film Review: SNATCHED (USA 2017) ***

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snatched.jpgWhen her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Katie Dippold
Stars: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Kim Caramele

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Written by Katie Dippold, inspired by her own relationship with her mother, the new Mother’s Day comedy SNATCHED follows the unexpected adventures of a daughter Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) and mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) when they get kidnapped while vacationing in Ecuador.
The script offers plenty of opportunities for hilarity. The story calls for Emily to be jilted by her boyfriend (Randall Park). She convinces her single mother, who never goes out to vacation with her. While on holiday, Emily’s constant flirting with men causes her to be conned on a day trip where she drags mother along. It is a trap for a kidnapping and ransom. Their escape means a possible hilarious escape through the Amazon while dodging bullets and arrows. Throw in a few very odd characters like Emily’s agoraphobic brother who is a mamma’s boy, two fellow tourists who are supposed to be experts on South America, jungle doctors and a Indiana Jones adventurer who is dying of cancer and one might expect a big hit comedy.

Not quite! The many opportunities for comedy result in the film often being all over the place. This fact might be good in a way, as it escapes the trap (almost) of dealing with the past broken mother/daughter relationship. To director Levine and scriptwriter Dippold’s credit, a few of the comedic set-ups are really funny – laugh-out loud funny.

The segment in which Emily is discovered with a tropical ailment – the infection of a tapeworm is inspired madness. The local doctor lures the tapeworm out (a monster of a reptile equivalent to anything from the ALIEN films) with a chunk of meat before the monster worm squirms itself out of Emily’s mouth.

The prized comedic performance goes to Ike Barinholtz as Jeffrey, Emily’s crazy brother who she initially despises. But when he discovers his mamma (that is what he calls her in the film) and sister kidnapped, he bravely leaves the house, contacts the American Embassy and leads a rescue mission in Colombia. Barinholtz , who has never been anything short of hilarious (remember him as the loud laughing clown in NEIGHBORS TWO) totally steals every single scene in this movie. It is hard not to laugh every time he utter the word ‘mamma’. Goldie Hawn who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress way back when in CACTUS FLOWER still proves she has the acting chops. In the one dramatic scene where she stands by her principles touting her unthankful work of a mother, she demonstrates once again a superior screen presence. John Cusack and Wanda Sykes play a ‘gay’ couple who help rescue Emily and Linda. Cusack’s military stunts are perfectly timed for hilarity.

The film does not shy away from being an adult comedy. Schumer showcases her breast in one funny scene. There are quite a few killings in the film, though the bad men are the ones accidentally shot or speared.

Despite the film’s few flaws, SNATCHED has lots to enjoy – Goldie Hawn on the scene again, scene stealer Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack’s acrobatics and mostly, the priceless laugh-out loud moments.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcyeYFXdHNQ

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Inside Out LGBT Film Festival Review: THE FABULOUS ALLAN CARR (USA 2017) ***

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allencarArmed with a limitless Rolodex and a Benedict Canyon enclave with its own disco, Allan Carr threw the Hollywood parties that defined the 1970s. A producer, manager, and marketing genius, Carr built his bombastic reputation amid a series of successes including the mega-hit musical film GREASE, until it all came crashing down after he produced the 1989 Academy Awards, a notorious debacle.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bette Davis

Review by Gilbert Seah 

Those who remember the fabulous documentary TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL screened at Inside Out two years back can expect the same fabulousness in director Jeffrey Schwarz’s new documentary of another Hollywood larger-than-life figure.

The subject is gay producer and promoter Allan Carr (before known as Alan Solomon). Carr is a short, fat little man but did not let his non-fabulous features stop him from being the celebrity and everyone’s darling party organizer. Carr has to his credits, the films GREASE (the highest grossing film of 1978), CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and also the infamous Snow White at the 1989 Academy Awards.

But the film also traces his disastrous flops like GREASE 2 and WHERE THE BOYS ARE. Schwarz captures all the glamour of Hollywood and its stars, from the eyes of Carr who narrates a fair part of his autobiography.

The film contains lots of nostalgia with lots of film clips from oldies and goodies like GREASE with a few archive footage of the old Hollywood gay scene.

But most important is the fact that the film also tells the truth about the real Carr – warts and all and, as his personal assistant describes, his Jekyll and Hyde behaviour.
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