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Fuck you MGM, with your loud-ass DVD intros.

When I was a kid, I didn't know anything about box office nor did I give a shit, and the truth is, I still shouldn't give a shit, nor should you. Because unless you're part of the movie or invested money in it, the financial success or lack thereof doesn't affect you -- the quality of the movie, on the other hand, does. I bring this up because I just found out that the film Overboard was not a hit, which surprised me because I just assumed it was. Instead, it was one of those films that got a second life on cable -- a TBS resurrection, if you will -- and between that and video rentals, it eventually became a success.

Yeah, I'm gonna ramble about the movie Overboard, the second-half of my Written by Leslie Dixon double-bill. This came about when this kind lady tweeted her fondness for the film, and I did something jerky by tweeting back something like "I didn't like that one" which is very unlike me, by the way, for two reasons; first, I subscribe to the belief that you should concentrate on telling people what you like, not what you don't like; and second, how could I not like a movie? I fuckin' like everything, man. Yet there I was, raining on this chick's parade like my opinion fuckin' mattered, and even if it did, you just don't rain on someone's parade, people -- I wouldn't like that if it was done to me so I must have been in a really weird place to do that shit in the first place.

I was a kid when I saw this movie for the first and last time, so I decided I would give Overboard another day in court now that I'm an adult. Ms. Olsson then told me about how I should also check out Outrageous Fortune as well, because it's good and because both films were written by the same person. I wrote about Outrageous Fortune; you see that link in the last sentence, where it says Outrageous Fortune in italics? It leads to my review, so read that shit. Anyway, going back to the popularity of Overboard; that shit took me a long fuckin' time to get on Netflix because of its Very Long Wait status. Sure, I could've gone to my local video store which is only a five-minute drive away and I'm sure they'd have it, but then that would mean I would have to drive (yet I will happily go three times the distance to get grub at the nearest Chick-fil-A because I'm a HUNGRY MAAAANNNN).

The movie opens with Alan Silvestri's peppy theme, sounding like something that would open a sitcom based on this movie. That's not an insult, it's just the vibe I got from it. Silvestri's a versatile composer; he can do some heavy orchestral madness like he did with the Predator and Back to the Future series, but he can also do something more befitting of, I don't know, a Shelley Long/Bette Midler comedy about trying to stop Peter Coyote from destroying the entire wheat belt. The entire wheat belt! Stop that motherfucker, girls!

You have to hand it to Silvestri for his diversity in style, his ability to do different kinds of scores. Ennio Morricone might be my all-time favorite movie composer, but you have to admit that he really only operates at one level -- a level we all love, but a level he's comfortable never getting out of. Shit, he even admits as much; I remember listening to the audio commentary to Il Postino, and the director Michael Radford talked about how he met with Morricone to discuss scoring that film. At one point, Radford requested that one particular scene should feel subtle and Morricone declared "I don't do subtle" and that's why that movie's music is composed by Luis Bacalov.

The beginning of the theme has a down-home, rambunctious feel to it; you hear the banjo at first and maybe you're like Oh Shit, Some Guy's Gonna Get Fucked In The Ass, but then the percussion and the Simon & Simon-style electric guitar kick in to assure you Nah Boy, We's Just Havin' A Good Time (this movie takes place in the Pacific Northwest though, so I'm not sure I should be talking like a Southern hick). There's also the occasional orchestral flourish, which I guess represents Goldie Hawn's character or something. The fact that this part of the music is only a small section that is overwhelmed by the banjos, percussion and guitars is kinda like musical reflection of her character being thrust into a world she knows nothing about, the Kurt Russell world where people don't use bottle openers to open beer bottles, they use tables and counters.

Goldie Hawn's character is a rich bitch, and I don't mean "bitch" as in "assertive woman" because I don't roll like that. She's just not a good person. Actually she's worse than that but I already used the word "cunt" in the last rambling and I think it's too soon to use that word again. She lives on this yacht, the kind of yacht aspiring rappers dream of shooting a music video on, and she's just really fucking miserable to be around. She's very demanding and treats everyone like shit. She even walks and talks like a worst-case-scenario born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-her-mouth type; she somehow manages to give the impression that she never uses contractions when she speaks (even though she does), that's how stuck up she sounds. Attention is demanded from her, she won't even let her weirdo husband (Edward Herrmann!) watch the one fuckin' television show he wants to watch without standing in front of it while she puts on her robe -- I mean, who the fuck does that shit aside from EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN THE WORLD.

Her wardrobe is ridiculous too; I really hope that's supposed to be part of the comedy -- an exaggeration of expensive trendy style, rather than the real thing. Ms. Hawn still looks pretty damn hot in them, though. But a lot of that heat is dissipated by the undeniable fact that she is just so goddamn unlikable. The filmmakers really did a great job in making the viewer (that's me!) wish for someone to give her -- this lady -- a detailed, all-too-real recreation of that scene in The Getaway when Steve McQueen expresses his frustrations with Ali MacGraw in the most delicate manner.

Roddy McDowall plays her long-suffering servant, and this poor guy has to deal with her saying things like "I almost had to wait" when he brings her caviar (I have to admit that's a good line, though) and he has to put up with her whiny bullshit while he's giving her a pedicure. He's also the executive producer of this film, so either he was involved with this movie getting made or maybe he bitched about his role not being that big and they shut him up with an executive producer credit. I've read up on him before and apparently everyone in Hollywood liked him and he also was quite the movie geek. He collected film prints and even admitted to digging so-bad-they're-good movies as well. Damn, this fuckin' guy would've loved The Room, had he lived long enough to see it. Hell, if they paid him enough, he'd probably act in the fuckin' thing. Anyway, take that hipsters -- he was ironically watching bad movies way before you were even born.

So Hawn and her weirdo husband dock over at Elk Cove, Oregon in their yacht (the Immaculata, she's called) and jack-of-most-trades Kurt Russell is called over to renovate her closet. He's trying to be friendly and she's being a typical twat, treating him like the lowly help she sees him as, and I wonder which is worse in the long run -- treating the help like shit or not even acknowledging them as human beings in the first place? I think of this when I think of all of mi gente mowing the lawns and nanny-ing the kids for the rich, I wonder about how they're treated by their employers. My conclusion is that it varies, depending on the employers -- who are also human beings, you see, and therefore just as varied in attitudes towards their fellow man.

Does race/ethnicity ever figure into it? I mean, I remember having gardeners in our household and my parents were always super cool to them, chatting with the dudes and giving them bottles of expensive booze as gifts. I wondered if say, the Anglo clients did the same thing with them or if they just slid their checks under the doors because Please Don't Stink Up My House, Mexican.

I remember hearing a while back about how Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony were threatening the world with a remake (I know I should like those two, but they come off like major league assholes) and I always thought if you had to remake that shit, it shouldn't be two Latino actors, but maybe a White actress and a Latino actor or the other way around. Most likely, though, they'd cast a Black guy as the help because somehow that's more believable in the 21st century; the studio execs would declare that Will Smith or somebody should play the carpenter, then later that day, the main exec would drive home to his expensive house and chew out the carpenter making renovations on his son's spare computer room and the carpenter would answer back with "Que?"

But back to the only Overboard that exists. Kurt Russell is really the only guy I could see playing this role (maybe Burt Reynolds, if this shit was made in the 70's -- then that would mean Sally Field would play the Hawn role and the director would be Hal Needham and the fat friend would be played by Dom DeLuise instead of the guy from Wayne's World and there would be outtakes during the end credits); here's this good-looking movie star who you can totally believe playing a blue-collar type and that's probably one of the many reasons why Kurt Russell rules. Even in interviews, he just has that charm about him where it just seems like he'd be a great guy to have a beer with, unless you're John Leguizamo.

Allow me to elaborate; in Leguizamo's memoir (the title is too long for me to remember the name, but it's a funny read, if you can find it), he talks about how Russell had taken him aside one day while shooting Executive Decision and in a big-brotherly way, told him that he should just say the lines as written on the script, rather than ad-lib the shit out of the scenes (as he had been doing). Leguizamo, as was his wont, ignored the advice and continued to improv his lines and eventually they kind of got into it and they even had a bit of a shoving match later on.

The best part is that Russell said something like "You have no confidence in the script, so you dance around it like some fucking fag! Be a man and say the lines!" which in and of itself is pretty fuckin' hilarious. Leguizamo said that during the press junkets, Russell did the no-hard-feelings thing and was very nice to him (Leguizamo, to his admitted discredit, did not return the love). You see, Kurt Russell is a man's man; he hunts, he's into sports, he likes cold beer, hot women, and he says the fuckin' lines that are on the script because he ain't no fag, man.

Anyway, Russell's character does a great job creating a new closet for Hawn (dig the crank-activated shoe shelves) but she's gonna stiff him $600 because he used oak instead of cedar (which she should've requested in the first place, and besides, hasn't she seen Pulp Fiction? Oak's nice. Oh wait, that movie didn't exist for another 6 or 7 years, my bad). I mean, come on -- earlier she was eager to throw away $1.7 million on some bullshit artwork that she's not even going to remember (she made the deal on a cellular phone that looks like some Zack Morris shit that got flattened by a steamroller), yet she won't cough up a relatively measly six-hundred bucks? Yup. Even though this chick is eating caviar on a daily basis and this guy is busy trying to make ends meet so he can feed his four kids, she's still gonna screw him on the deal -- stay classy, Goldie.

Frustrated with this special case, Russell tells her off (much to the approval of the crew of the yacht -- I dug how while the crew members are whooping and applauding, McDowall simply nods his approval) and she gets back at him for dropping truth bombs on her by shoving him overboard and then proceeds to motherfuck him by throwing his tools into the water as well. What a fucking asshole.

So now Russell is assed out of $600, the school principal is giving him shit about his kids, and he needs to find someone to take care of said kids while he's out busting his ass, making that money. Thankfully, the benevolent god that is the screenwriter sets it up so that Hawn ends up falling off her yacht late one night. She gets picked up the next morning by a garbage scow and it turns out she now has amnesia (she hit her head on the scow or the cold water shocked the memory out of her) and when her husband goes to identify her at the hospital, he decides to take advantage and pretend he doesn't know her, because really, man, who needs to deal with that aggravation? Next stop for weirdo husband: happiness and chicks in bikinis (which is a redundancy, I know).

While scoring some free potato chips at a bowling alley, Russell catches the news report about Amnesia Chick, notices the departing husband and gets all Hot Damn about it because it's time for some fuckin' payback. He claims that Hawn is his wife, and between his being able to identify a birthmark on the woman's ass cheek (which he noticed while she was sunbathing) and the hospital staff's over-willingness to get rid of this unpleasant lady, it doesn't take long before he's taking her to his humble (and I do mean humble) abode. The idea is that he can get the equivalent of the $600 he is owed by having her do chores and take care of the kids for a while. Fucking with her is simply a bonus.

It's lots of fun to watch the shit this chick goes through, as karma goes Steven Seagal on her William Forsythe soul in the Out For Justice that is her current life situation, and we get the pleasure of observing her get owned by simple everyday tasks. It's hell for this former queen as she tries to wash the dishes, make the meals, feed the dogs (those dogs are awesome, by the way, they jump on everyone because they have so much love to give, like William H. Macy in Magnolia), and it's hell for me because it's all done to that Jim Dandy To The Rescue song that for some reason annoyed the shit out of my ears, who then relayed the message to my brain, who was not happy to hear the news.

Anyway, even though you two have probably seen the movie (three, if you count Ms. Olsson), I'm not going to go any further because I have to get ready for this other thing I'm going to in a while (which I'm running late for, actually). I'll just talk about how I'm glad I gave this movie a second chance because I liked it a whole lot more this time. Maybe it's because back when I saw it, I was bored by the lack of talking robots or black guys who do sound effects with their mouths in this supposed comedy. Sure, one of Russell's sons talks like Pee Wee Herman, but too little/too late, I thought. But this time, I found the movie very funny, and not just because of Hawn's improvement-through-suffering, but because there's a lot of funny stuff in the margins, so to speak. I'd give examples but I wasted too much time telling you a John Leguizamo anecdote that had absolutely nothing to do with the movie. I suck.

OK, I'll give you one -- the live news report is full of Win. The main dude on the garbage scow is played by Hector Elizondo (that's a Garry Marshall trademark, giving that dude a role in all his joints) and he was hilarious in his brief running time, explaining how "foca" means "seal" in Portuguese, then he starts with some opera shit because that's what he does for love. And even after they cut away from him, you can still hear him talking to the reporter about why opera is just more than singing, it's telling stories with song, and I don't know, I was fuckin' laughing my ass off during that. I also laughed at the hurt look on the poor reporter's face  when Hawn accuses her of wearing a wig, that shit was priceless. And I couldn't help but smile at the name of the television station: K-RAB with a crab holding up the letters -- a crab! (Writer's disclosure: I'm a Cancer, hence my fondness for the crustacean. Such is the movie's power that I did not hold all the crab-eating against it)

I liked how the kids weren't obnoxious douchebags, like that fuckin' ginger from Problem Child; they were merely discipline cases who needed someone to tell them to stop that shit (Russell was too much of a cool dad to do anything), they needed Bad Cop in a house that was only run by Good Cop. Most kids in movies, I want to throw them in a woodchipper feet-first and film that shit in slow-motion, so it's testament to the ability of writer Leslie Dixon, director Garry Marshall, and the kid actors that I didn't feel that way, even though they start off kind of asshole-like at first, but not too much -- the porridge was just right.

There's just such a happy and sweet vibe to this movie, that it's hard to dislike anything about it. It's a nice movie and the love story is sweet (don't act like you didn't expect that shit to happen in this movie) and I hope it finds a nice girl and settles down with her one day. This is the kind of movie that features a cutaway to a dog peeking from behind a log and it only lasts half-a-second and I'm not sure if that shot was even necessary but I bet Marshall was like "Why not?" and I'm so glad he did. Yeah, it's that kind of movie. You know those kinds of movies, the ones that feature half-second cutaways to dogs peeking behind things, there's plenty of them, I'm sure.

I wish I could find the article online, but I couldn't, so you'll have to take my word for it; there was this piece on Details magazine about the making of John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. and the writer was working on it as an extra. This writer, he was being an asshole and the article shared his asshole point-of-view, but it still had some nice moments, like when he meets Kurt Russell and of course, because the writer is too cool to directly complement the guy, he says something like "My niece loved Overboard" and Russell responds by telling the writer a story about some girl who hadn't spoken in years because of some traumatic event in her life, then she started speaking again after watching Overboard. Of course, the writer found a way to write a douchebag retort to that story, one that I can't remember, thank God.

But seriously, how can you hate a movie like that? It made a mute girl speak! It can probably make a blind man see or a cripple walk again, for all I know. There could be untapped healing powers in this film and someone should do something about it; take all that research money on failing to cure muscular dystrophy (them's the breaks, Jerry) and put it on going over every frame of this movie with a fine-toothed comb. Actually, don't use the comb, that'll fuck up the film.

In conclusion, the actor who played the hospital guard went on to host Family Feud for a while, then he went nuts, got committed to a mental ward, and hung himself. Happy Rapture, everybody!

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