Pop Culture | Movies | 80s

'Overboard' May Be The Best Rom-Com Of All Time, But We've Still Got Questions


If you had to pick one Hollywood couple whose love you believed in stronger than any others, chances are you're going to say Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

The two first met on the set of The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in 1968, but Russell was too young for Hawn to be interested in him (he was only 16 at the time, she was 21).

They met again in 1984 on the set of Swing Shift, and this time they hit it off. Both were divorced, both had children, and shortly after they reunited they fell in love.

In 1986, they had a son together, and then they starred in another movie together. That's the movie we're going to talk about now.

Overboard was released in 1987 and oh boy, what a movie. The premise alone is enough to make you say "Huh??" but somehow they made it work.

It's probably one of the very best romantic comedies of the entire decade, or maybe even ever, but I do still have some questions about it. Let's examine this movie a little closer (maybe too close) and see what it's really trying to do here.

So, why is Joanna married to Grant?

At the end of the movie (spoilers, obviously) we find out that the money is all hers. So it's not like she's a gold digger just looking for some easy life. In fact, Grant is the one who is the gold digger as he clearly doesn't care for his wife.

How did these two end up together? Why are they still married? Why doesn't she just leave him and go along her way? She doesn't seem to like him and he doesn't like her, it seems like such a waste of their time.

Did Dean not have a contract?

I know that Dean is a small-town guy, but did he not have the super-rich lady sign a contract when he started work on her closet?

That seems kind of like business 101, but maybe that's just me. It could have saved him a lot of anger when she refused to pay, because then he could take her to court.

I do, however, suppose that because she has a lot more money than him that her lawyers would be better equipped to fend off any small lawsuits so he may not have won anyways.

How did Joanna get all of her money?

She's super, crazy, insanely rich, clearly, but how did she get that wealthy? Did she work for it or was it something she was just born into?

I suppose her mother seems to be just as rich as she is, so unless she has been buying all of her mom's clothing, then it seems like inheritance is the correct answer.

How did Grant not get in trouble?

I don't know the legality of it, but he literally abandoned his wife in a hospital, leaving her to get kidnapped by some stranger.

Sure, she's kind of nasty, but he had no right to do that. Can you arrest him for lying about his relationship to Joanna? At the very least, I think she's got an easy out when it comes to alimony.

Sorry Grant, you're getting nothing in the divorce.

Dean, what's wrong with you?

So, it's easy to forgive Dean because he's Kurt Russell and he's charming, but think about it logically.

Dean sees the picture of the woman who was mean to him on the television, and immediately gets the idea to go grab her from the hospital. Why? Why is that his first thought? Why didn't he contact her husband and say, "Hey I found your wife, do you think you could pay me now because clearly I'm a decent human being?"

Or, if he still wants to be kind of a jerk, he could blackmail Grant and say "I found your wife, either come pay me now or I'll tell the hospital you lied and you're getting stuck with her again when clearly you don't want her."

Instead, he goes in and convinces the doctor that it's his wife, and then doesn't prepare at all.

Seriously, Dean, you saw her in person, you have no excuse for that clothing.

I get that he's not wealthy or anything, but he should have tried to find her at least some clothes that fit.

He had a wife before, he should know that women don't just keep clothes that no longer fit and nothing else. We tend to restock our closets with at least a few garments that are comfortable if we change sizes.

If the financial restrictions were really that tight, I get it, but you probably could have borrowed a few of your oldest son's shirts because his clothes would have fit her better.

Did her mother not see the news?

So her husband is the worst, but what about her mom? Why didn't her mom see her daughter's face on the news?

I know she tried calling and Grant hung up on her, but Joanna's face was all over the television, and it's not like there were all that many channels in the 80s so, what gives?

Sure, she's the one who forces him to get Joanna back, but how on earth did she think a week was a suitable timeline? Find her faster, you're her mother!

How are those boys so good at lying?

What kind of morals are you teaching your boys Dean? Those kids are a mess.

I understand that your family is really struggling with the loss of your wife, but maybe have some boundaries? You're living in a literal battlefield, and that's not great.

Your kids shouldn't be this comfortable pretending that Joanna is their mother. I know they are kids and may not understand that their dad is literally kidnapping a sick woman and forcing her into being her slave, but at least the older ones should know better by now.

Are your friends really okay with this?

You've got your best buddy who seems to have no issue with your kidnapping tendencies Dean, but maybe that should worry you more.

I know there is a bit of a ride-or-die friendship going on, and maybe this whole town is just filled with criminals, but how did people not understand that this woman who just showed up out of nowhere is not the wife of this man.

Does Joanna get any of the rights to the mini golf course?

She did all the designs, so is it technically hers? Sure, Dean and Billy built it, but without Joanna's designs they'd still be stuck at the beginning.

Joanna, it's your boat, why don't you call the cops?

When Grant tries to take over, you could call the cops to stop him. They have boats and could send help.

Or you could just yell out that you'll meet him in the next port or something, and then just fly back. Do you have any helicopters on speed dial? You're very rich, I assume that's something you might have, right?

Joanna, one more thing, are you sure you can't do better than Dean?

Now that you're a decent human being and you have your memories and all your money, do you think you still want to be with him?

I mean, he literally kidnapped you. I know you fell in love over time, but is he worth it? I guess so, because you jumped in the water and swam a very long way to be with him.

I hope you get a prenup though!

As ridiculous as this movie is, there's literally nothing about it that I would change. When's the last time you watched it?