Directed by Garry Marshall
After cheating and generally mistreating a carpenter she hired, an heiress gets amnesia after falling overboard (see what they did there) while out on her yacht. The carpenter decides to get revenge on her and introduces her to regular life and convinces her that they are married.
Goldie Hawn is perfect as the stuck-up rich Joanna Stayton/Annie Proffitt. Hawn is one of the great comedic actresses of all time. She has such amazing timing and always creates something wonderful. She takes everything you would imagine in a nasty rich woman and gives it a comedic twist.
When she is initially found, Joanna/Annie makes everyone hate her at the hospital. It is so bad the doctors are willing to pawn her off on the first person that looks like they might know her because she’s that terrible. And you believe it.
Kurt Russell is wonderful as Dean Proffitt. He’s an easy-going a-hole here. He is a bit of a slob but not really a bad guy. Russell slips into the role so easily. You get the feeling almost that this is close to who he actually is and that he is just playing himself.
Edward Herrmann is Joanna’s/Annie’s actual husband Grant Stayton III. Herrmann usually plays lighter rolls-at least when I see him. He’s very effective as the husband that takes his wife’s amnesia as an excuse to get rid of her and live it up. He just looked like the stereotypical yuppie of the 80s. And here he fit into the role perfectly.
The late Roddy McDowell is in this as the Stayton’s butler Andrew. He was always good. He even serves as a producer on this movie.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have an amazing chemistry on screen here. Their real-life romance translated excellently to the screen. Not every couple can work well together and make something enjoyable but here they did just that. And this movie works largely because of the chemistry between the two leads. Honestly it is a mediocre script brought up to a higher level by them.
It’s an outlandish and over the top and completely illogical premise that they make work. And actually it is a little creepy if you think too hard about it. Dean used a woman’s amnesia to trick her into being his wife just to get petty revenge. That is just messed up. That is a jail sentence in the real world.
Despite the disturbing premise this is actually a sweet film. Somehow it finds a way to have heart. For example, when the kids get poison oak and the school misses it Annie’s reaction shows that despite the hell the kids put her through she cares about them. It’s a moment of change for her especially given that despite the amnesia she is still the woman she was personality wise as Joanna.
As the story progresses Dean realizes he has some kind of feelings for her. The better things get and the more comfortable they get and the happier they get the more he (and the audience) are afraid that it will fall apart because really it’s the only way you can really end the movie. He loves her now and he doesn’t want to continue to lie but he knows if he tells the truth that it’s all gone. The car arriving at the house close to the end is the hardest scene because you know his feelings for her are now genuine and it’s all going to pot.
It’s a classic outlandish screwball comedy. It’s got plenty of humor and plenty of heart and some outstanding performances. The two leads work some magic together in this movie. Something that should not have worked works because of them. It’s a charmer that has aged very well and I guarantee you will like it.