In the late 1980s, a screwball comedy would not succeed at the box office, but certainly would with viewers in the future in Overboard.
Written by Leslie Dixon and produced by Garry Marshall, Overboard stars Goldie Hawn as wealthy Joanna Stayton and Kurt Russell as working class single Dad Dean Proffitt.
Accustomed to the A list life, Joanna and her husband Grant Stayton III (Edward Herrmann) hire Proffitt to re-do her closet on her yacht.
When she is unimpressed by his work, they fight and she tosses him and his tools off the yacht. Later that night, Joanna falls off the yacht while in search of her ring.
Joanna is rescued by a garbage scow, taken to the local hospital and has amnesia. Grant returns to get her, but realizes she doesn’t remember him and witnessing her acting badly towards the staff, abandons her at the hospital to pursue an affair.
Proffitt shows up at the hospital and claims her, deciding that he and his four sons will put her through her paces in payment for not paying his bill and tossing his tools away. As she and her newfound family try to figure out how to survive, the two are constantly fighting, as she attempts to become a wife and mother, with many bizarre, funny and classic slapstick moments.
Released December 16, 1987, Overboard may have had two major stars, but the film got no love from the critics, with most giving it bad reviews for their attempt at a classic screwball comedy but failing.
Despite the harsh commentary of movie critics, the film had a modest box office earnings of US $27 million, but its future lay in television, where the film has become a cult classic on several tv channels. And sidenote – it was the film that brought Hawn and Russell together, and have remained a couple since then.