Going Overboard (1989)

Going OverboardReleased: May 12, 1989. Directed by: Valerie Breiman. Starring: Adam Sandler, Burt Young, Billy Zane. Runtime: 99 min.

At least Adam Sandler and director Valerie Breiman had the right idea with this one. I’m assuming they thought, “Hey… If we make a bad movie to start both of our careers, the worst movie of ours will be our first – so the only way we can go is up!” This is undoubtedly the worst movie of Sandler’s career. This is probably the worst comedy ever made, and the worst movie ever made; rivaling the likes of “Scary Movie 5” and “Miss March.”

It’s a grueling experience that follows Schecky Moskowitz (Sandler), a struggling comedian,  who takes a menial job aboard a cruise ship in hopes of breaking out into cruise ship comedy. (Is Schecky Moskowitz not the most Jewish name ever thought of?)

Apparently, the only thing worse than Sandler writing his own jokes is having others write them for him. Sandler’s Moskowitz is better than the cruise ship’s actual comedian, Dickie Diamond (Scott LaRose), but that doesn’t mean either are funny. Sandler is just a bit less of a dick than Dickie. If you giggled at that lame joke; that’s already one more laugh than the movie itself.

When the movie might actually be funny, it falls flat on its low-budget face. Milton Berle shows up briefly as himself, but even he cannot enliven the experience. It is mostly a fault of the filmmakers – because of their bad writing and because whenever Berle speaks, assuming everything he says is a true knee-slapper, a laugh track sounds. Apparently we’re supposed to laugh, but it won’t get even a smirk out of most. He tells Schecky that the power of laughter is the most important thing in the world. It comes into play later, but in a predictable way. There are no jokes at play, so not even a then-unknown 1989 Billy Bob Thorton can be funny.

The humour is idiotic, because it’s just completely unfunny. There’s a gag of this dirty-looking rocker called Croaker (Adam Rifkin, director of “Detroit Rock City“), equipped with a dirty moustache and braces who gets all the girls. It’s not funny because the look of him, and the things he says, upsets my stomach. And apparently an already unbearable movie isn’t complete until there’s a crappy ’80s music video. It is all completely random and this film makes me want to jump overboard.

People who think they are funny keep being told that they’re funny, but they are not. Some of the jokes have Sandler answering some questions, and then a series of supermodels begin to answer that same question. One of the questions he answers is “If he had one million dollars.” This is one of the supermodels’ replies, and bear with me: “I’d buy all the acne cream in the world so I can go around popping people’s zits. Mmmm. Pus.” (Did you just barf in your mouth a little, too?)

The plot becomes dumber and dumber. Somehow a military general (Burt Young) rented this video tape Schecky made (the movie we the audience are watching, or being tortured by) and pops it in, and later in, an Australian beauty pageant winner says he is smelly. He sends a few inept terrorists to kill her, and they show up later in the movie… on the boat Schecky is on… Somehow… And the General still gets to watch it all happen… Because maybe he’s… in a different dimension?… Or?… It simply defies all logic.

This is a pre-Saturday Night Live Sandler, where he makes funny faces he’ll later be known for, but he’s just incoherently dumb here. I guess he didn’t know better though. Everyone is incoherently dumb here. The whole movie is just a complete and utter train-wreck. The tedious humour in the film is R-rated because of its vulgarity, but the montages of girls in bikinis that the film is so obsessed with feels PG-rated. At one point in the film, Sandler says, with his eyes crossed, “Okay, before we get to that point in the story, here’s a montage of beautiful ladies.”

Since these “filmmakers” are obsessed with beautiful women but won’t bother to show any kind-of nudity, there’s something odd going on. Anyone who’s ever seen a National Lampoon movie should know that one or two pair of breasts will win over thirteen year-old males.

This is a complete waste of time, and I know that because, in my notes, I wrote the word ‘torture’ six times, and many other un-nice things. The first three uses of the word torture were used in the first 40 minutes, and there was still nearly an hour left at that point. This feature is an endurance test. I somehow made it through it all. Somehow. But hell, if one can make it through this, they can watch just about any bad movie. But I’d rather be shot by the inept terrorists’ obviously fake guns than ever watch this again.

Apparently this film was made because, as Schecky irritatingly tells his camera crew at the beginning, “This is a loosely thrown together story that we are making because we have access to this big boat and a lot of hot super models.” This is one of the many times he breaks the fourth wall and talks to the camera crew/director. It proceeds to have no plot, no direction, bad acting, a ludicrous story, and just a whole lot of random crap. Crap crap crap. I just have to say: If Sandler has a video camera, don’t let him near a cruise ship. Bad things happen when he’s on a cruise ship…


13 thoughts on “Going Overboard (1989)

      1. Ok, maybe not an avant garde film. Why not a David Lynch? If you want, I suppose I can recommend the least Lynch-like movie of his, The Straight Story, though I recommend you have a few more under your belt.

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