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Overboard Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

'80s comedy has some iffy stuff for PG; won't interest kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Overboard is a 1980s variation on the classic screwball comedy genre. The characters behave outrageously, and are slightly less charming than their 1930s and 1940s counterparts; they eventually learn their lessons, but they're just not very nice people. The comic revenge plot goes a bit too far. The movie is rated PG, but it has some fairly strong language (including several uses of "s--t"), as well as sex and sex talk (no nudity). Four younger boys are part of the story (the children of Dean's former marriage), though there are relatively few "family" situations to laugh at. It's unlikely that younger kids will be interested in this story, but older teens and parents may find it mildly diverting.

  • Families can talk about Dean's revenge plot against Joanna. Does it go too far? Or does she deserve what she gets?
  • Joanna is forced to cook and clean for a time. Is her character a stereotype?
  • Is the movie too sexy for a story about a family?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Though everyone learns a lesson and falls in love by the end, the road to that ending is really quite mean. Joanna starts the movie spoiled, rich, and bored; she treats Dean with contempt. When she loses her memory, he acts out of revenge, pretending that she's actually his wife and that she lives in poverty with their four boys. He makes her cook and clean, giving her as good as she gave him. Eventually he feels bad, but this negative behavior is celebrated as comedy for a good portion of the movie.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Both Hawn and Russell's characters eventually learn their lessons and find love with one another, but they're particularly nasty people until that point. Hawn's character is spoiled and bored, treating everyone around her with impatience and contempt. Russell takes revenge on her, but it's wildly unfair. He lies to her, humiliates her, and treats her as a slave in his home. Eventually he comes to like her, but he can't bring himself to tell her the truth; it comes out accidentally, later on.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Not much more than some mild arguing and a few pratfalls.

  • sex false3

    Sex: No nudity, but characters kiss and make love in bed. Joanna appears in a very revealing bathing suit that makes her look naked from the back. (Dean is able to identify a birthmark in a sensitive area.) Joanna finds a pair of panties in the glove compartment of Dean's truck, and he can't explain where they came from. The husband character parties heavily on board his yacht with several half-dressed ladies. Otherwise, there's plenty of sex-related talk, including mentions of getting "knocked up," phone sex, and "painted ladies."

  • language false3

    Language: We hear at least five mentions of "s--t," as well as more than one use of "bitch," "damn," "slut," "Goddamn," "God," and "ass."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Several products are visible in the family's home, including M&Ms, Trix cereal, Lifesavers, Mr. Bubble, and Ajax cleaner.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Grownups drink plenty of beer. Characters drink martinis and champagne. Hardly anyone drinks to the point of overindulgence, though the husband character is seen having some crazy parties on board his yacht.

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