Bruce Hall Goes Overboard
By Bruce Hall
June 4, 2013
“Okay I see your point,” she said – and she was laughing. “But it’s a love story!”
I replied, and only half jokingly: “Yes, and it’s also the story of two highly disturbed men who use a cruel but functionally innocent woman as a sexual and emotional pawn. She clearly suffered some mental trauma from this, and in the end (26-year-old spoiler alert) she reveals to Russell that the yacht and all the money is actually hers, so now Russell’s character isn’t just a rapist, he’s a rich rapist!”
Look, I know it was the ‘80s – the decade that made lowbrow racial humor, sexual harassment and Jamie Lee Curtis’s boobs a way of life, but when I imagine this story being pitched today I see a room full of studio executives wrinkling their faces and saying:
But let’s get back to my shame. I could tell by the look on her face that she’d never looked at Overboard that way, and the woman who’d just hours before gone on a rant against Howard Stern’s adolescent misogyny suddenly realized that one of her most super duper favorite movies of all time was little more than a classically elaborate, male dominated rape fantasy. Now, she looks at me with an almost scientific combination of amusement and pity, and says:
“You really can’t turn it off, can you?”
Yes, I got called out and it was okay. It’s what I do. All you have to do is change a handful of key scenes, maybe dye Goldie’s hair black – and you’ve got a Hitchcock film. I’d be more worried about people who watch this movie and don’t see a psycho rapist.
“No.” I confessed - and with a more than appropriate level of sincerity. “No, I guess can’t.”
So there you have it. I’m not lying when I say that in a not insignificant way, I really did ruin this movie a little bit for her. But that just goes to show you, we should have just watched Wrath of Khan, as should we all, when the only other option is a romantic comedy. And here’s a funny aside – Who’s that Girl is her absolute favorite movie ever (I know, right?) and I have already been warned that if I ruin that one for her, they might never find my body.
The needs of the Missus outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one. Got it.