Good ole’ fashioned rape culture
but we still love this movie, don’t we?
Do you people remember this movie??
Because DAMN I do. I believe that I once told friends at school that it's the best movie ever. (why young me WHY)
Let's do a little refresher.
Overboard is a 1987 classic starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. In the movie, Hawn plays a 'snobby' rich lady who hires Russell, a 'hardworking' carpenter, to help on her yacht.
I put these two adjectives in quotes because I believe they are meant to justify the rest of the story ... which, I have to say, did work very well in the past to make us never question how inappropriate this plot is.
So basically, we're introduced to Hawn as a spoiled, cold-hearted biotch who decides she's not going to pay Russell for his work on the boat. When her crew applauds him for standing up to her, she throws him off of her boat, and she and her equally snobby husband (who by the way is played by Richard from Gilmore Girls - rip) continue on their way.
But, that evening she goes out onto the deck because she can't find her wedding ring - she falls and is found ashore the next day without any memory of who she is or where she comes from.
Her dick husband (rip) shows up at the hospital but then decides to leave her there and goes off to bang a bunch of young women. So (our hero?) Russell shows up, tells her that they're married with 4 kids, and somehow the hospital lets him take her on the grounds that he knows she has a birthmark on her butt. (I mean stalkers or creeps would probably find out that information too, if they wanted to steal a woman, am I wrong? but sure alright yes you can have her, why not)
So, in order to get revenge on this lady for not paying him for his work, he steals her and her life.
Oh I know we're supposed to hate her so much that we think she deserves it. And we're supposed to love him so much for being a father of 4 who works hard at 2 jobs to pay the bills. And this is supposed to make ALL OF THIS OKAY.
But omg it's just not! She does NOT deserve this. And I don't care how much character building it does for her, she should not be tricked into thinking that she's married to someone she is not. I mean how creepy is that??
So right away this should set people's alarm bells ringing. But it didn't! We thought this was perfectly acceptable family fun entertainment. It's totally chill that a hot guy is getting his revenge by tricking a brain-damaged woman into being his wife ... cool cool cool.
And to anybody who starts to utter the words 'but she was so mean' think about the rules of rape culture. (don't blame the victim)
So on top of all of this collective victim blaming and shaming that we did, what else could happen but ... oh yep SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM.
I mean what else would she do, huh?
And to be clear, she doesn't think she's falling in love with him. She thinks she's ALREADY in love with him. She thinks they've had an entire intimate relationship that existed, but she just can't remember.
So sure he's 'respectful' about not having sex (I mean how respectful can the words 'no boom boom' really be), but, in her mind, she's still being the wife who is holding out on her husband. On some level she feels a duty to him, and she recognizes that, though she can't remember, there must be something there.
THIS IS CRAZY PEOPLE
So. Some would question whether or not this is actually love. Maybe it's just a case of twisted Stockholm syndrome, which would be completely reasonable in this scenario because HE TRICKED HER INTO THINKING THEY ARE TOGETHER.
Buut wait. When she does get her memory back and returns to her life, she just can't shake how she feels about him. (eye-roll) And she realizes SHE STILL LOVES HIM. AND SHE ENDS UP WITH HIM. THE GUY WHO TRICKED HER INTO BEING WITH HIM FOR MONTHS.
Do you know how many times I reenacted the last scene of this film, where Goldie and Kurt are swimming towards each other in the ocean, in the living room of my childhood home? Way too many times for a romantic comedy that's about a guy stealing a woman.
PS. It turns out this movie was remade (yipee), and that version is set to release in May 2018. This time the human stealer will be played by female identifying human, Anna Faris, with a male as the stolen human. Of all the films that could have be redone with women in the lead roles, they chose THIS ONE?
My film Perpeturaped. will be screened at the Artemis Women In Action Film festival on April 28th. It will also be available to be screened online through the festival. All information can be found here.
In honor, this month is perpeturapetion reflection month. Read more on the blog or follow on Instagram @hermeout