"If Adam Sandler had his way, every copy of Going Overboard would be lying at the bottom of the ocean. And you know what? I'd be right alongside him, chucking them in!"— Film Brain
Going Overboard is a 1989 American comedy film directed by Valerie Breiman, and stars Adam Sandler in his film debut, along with Burt Young, Allen Covert, Billy Zane, Terry Moore, Milton Berle and Billy Bob Thornton in a small role. The film was originally released in 1989, but once Sandler became successful after appearing on Saturday Night Live and in the films Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, it was given a wider release by Vidmark Entertainment in 1996.
Shecky Moskowitz (Sandler) is a struggling comedian working on a cruise ship. Shecky gets his chance to be the ship's comedian when it is thought that the regular comedian, Dickie Diamond (Scott LaRose), has fallen overboard and drowned (Dickie actually locked himself in the men's room). Shecky is nervous about performing, but King Neptune (Zane) convinces him to go for the opportunity by telling Shecky about the power of laughter. Shecky's first performance is very unsuccessful as he is booed off the stage, he is especially heckled by a construction worker named Dave (Thornton). However, after a lecture by Milton Berle, Shecky succeeds in making the audience laugh. At that point, a group of terrorists come onboard and prepare to kill Miss Australia. Shecky, remembering Neptune's advice about the power of laughter, saves her by promising to put the assassins in a film.
Why It Sucks
- Terrible acting, save for Billy Bob Thornton.
- This was Adam Sandler's version of The Room, but far less funny.
- Horrible plot.
- Unfunny jokes.
- Unlikable and bland characters.
- Shecky (Adam Sandler) often interrupts the film by talking directly to the camera like it's a fake reality TV show instead of an actual film.
- In one of Shecky's dream sequences, we see a low-budget animation sequence of Dickie tearing off his skin and pulling out his eyes, which is very disturbing for a comedy film. This sequence was animated by none other than Dan Povenmire, who later went to cocreate Phineas and Ferb.
- The film starts out as a video being watched by Manuel Noriega of all people, but later changes to something that Noriega appears to be watching live.
- Near the end of the film, when the terrorists make it onboard the ship, Shecky's shirt keeps changing throughout the scene. The film actually acknowledges this, meaning that either it was intentional (in which case it's just a lame gag that doesn't work), or a clumsy attempt at covering up a continuity error.
- Billy Bob Thornton is the only one who does a decent acting job, with everyone else trying to ham it up as much as possible or stumbling along and trying to improvise.
- Despite being pretty baffling, Milton Berle's cameo does make sense, because he was a clean comedian, in stark contrast to Dickie, who represented the raunchy shock comedians like Andrew Dice Clay that emerged during the 1980's. So, this movie was trying to be a salute to the old-fashioned comedian, with Shecky/Sandler as the heir to Berle's throne.
- Adam Sandler was so embarrassed by this film, that it isn't listed in his filmography on his official website.
Going Overboard received extremely negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film doesn't hold a critic score on Rotten Tomatoes as of right now. But, it holds a 1.8 on IMDb and is currently ranked at #15 on IMDb's Bottom 100 films. Film critic David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews described the film as "a slapdash and thoroughly amateurish piece of work that suffers from a total dearth of positive attributes." Reviews aren't available on Metacritic either.
The only information about the film's financial status is that the film had a budget of $200,000. Box office numbers have not yet surfaced.