Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are a couple off-screen and that chemistry translated to Garry Marshall’s (Valentine’s Day, The Princess Diaries) 1987 practical joke/fish out of water comedy. It is a silly little film that benefits greatly from the couple’s ease with one another and their likeability factor. Marshall was the master of the screwball comedy for a time in Hollywood. It is not complex stuff here and it is helped along greatly by Russell and Hawn as a couple ill-suited for one another that we still find ourselves rooting for.
Her yacht is going to be docked for some time in a small Oregon town and that is just not acceptable for the very spoiled Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn – The First Wives Club, Private Benjamin). Her being miserable means she makes everyone else miserable. Or more accurately, more miserable than she does normally. Deciding to use the time to make some improvements to her closet. She hires local carpenter Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell – Executive Decision, Tombstone) to do the work.
After having to deal with her whining and rude behaviour Dean finishes the work on the closet, but Joanna is not happy with it. She refuses to pay Dean for the work. He ends up in the water with Joanna ordering the captain of the yacht to weigh anchor and sail away. Dean is furious.
His revenge comes later when Joanna accidentally falls overboard and loses her memory. She is fished out of the water and has no idea who she is or where she lives. Brought back to the small town in Oregon a plea is put on television for her family to come forward. Her husband Grant (Edward Herrmann – from television’s Gilmore Girls) is relieved to be rid of his difficult wife, so he says nothing and keeps on sailing away. Dean sees the news clip and comes up with a scheme to get back at Joanna and make his life easier.
Dean is a single father with four unruly boys. Charlie (Jared Rushton – Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Big), Joey (Jeffrey Wiseman – Home Alone), Travis (Brian Price), and Greg (Jamie Wild) are running wild without a mother’s touch around to guide them. A newcomer to town, Dean is able to go to the police station and using Joanna’s amnesia to his favour convinces her and the police that she is his wife, Annie.
Bringing “Annie” home, Dean now has a free housekeeper and someone to watch his kids. As Joanna/Annie makes the adjustment to being a mother of four young boys, a housekeeper and a wife to Dean. Dean loves his newfound freedom, but is always on edge wondering when Joanna will remember who she really is.
This is one of the rare comedic films from the 80s that time has not ravaged. It can still be watched and enjoyed today. Also is a film that can be watched over and over without getting bored of it. A film that is silly, but you will find yourself laughing at anyways. The whole movie long you will have a smile on your face due to the cute dialogue and the change in the characters of Dean and Joanna. Type of film that the public loves and critics hate.