Going Overboard (1989) — The only way to escape this horrible Adam Sandler flick

“When I speak to him, I want to vomit.”

Justin’s rating: This is for those who thought Billy Madison was too intellectual.

Justin’s review: Every actor and actress has a skeleton or two in their filmography closet. Some have so many, they could legally be arrested as a serial killer (Rob Schnieder, we’re coming for you!). Going Overboard is Adam Sandler’s biggest skelly of shame — and considering his annoying status in future comedy flicks (Little Nicky is, ironically, Hell’s #1 video rental since release), that is saying something.

Going Overboard is the quaint tale of Schecky Moskowitz (Sandler), a cruise ship waiter who has aspirations to become a stage comedian. Okay, nothing that will spark the cockles of excitement in your uterus, but we’ve heard worse. So why is this film so utterly reviled as to be one of the most-disliked movies of all time? Like many so-bad-they-hurt films, there’s no one quick answer to it; the pain is in the complete package.

But I suppose we can begin with the fact that they couldn’t leave a dumb little story alone without trying to give it the most tacky framing device in cinema history. You see, this movie isn’t real. Yeah, I know, movies aren’t supposed to be real — but we are supposed to pretend they are, for the sake of fiction, while watching them. What we see is a movie made by Schecky of (mostly) fake events, in the hopes of landing a comedy gig with a fat general who, for some reason, picks this tape to watch over his extensive porn collection. Please… please don’t ask me to repeat or explain that.

What’s worse than this awkward fakery-within-fakery is that this device gives Schecky the power to continue addressing the camera and messing with the movie in any way he sees fit. He’s like an annoying yet dim-witted Ferris Bueller, and every time he talks to us, you’ll wish an Orca whale would leap out of the ocean and swallow his curly head whole.

Schecky butts heads with the current cruise boat comedian, Dickie. Dickie’s routine is mostly swears, and Schecky’s routine is mostly lame duck-soup crud. It’s a battle of the twits, and we are all the losers. There is, seriously, not one joke that either of these guys tell that will make you even smile, yet all of the other characters find them uproarious nonetheless. I suspect laughing gas.

Entire scenes — swaths of precious minutes of spoiled history — are given over to random lack of hilarity, such as a rock star with rotten teeth or Dickie dancing for girls laying down or an old guy with his own laugh track. If you have dentures, you best remove them before ever attempting this movie, because you’ll be spitting often.

If you aren’t already thinking that a day with that Nazi Gestapo guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be preferable to this, then I am remiss in my duties. I might have neglected to mention the dream and fantasy sequences, which are only acceptable in Scrubs and nowhere else in any published medium. I may have shielded you from Burt Young as General Noreaga, who stops the tape (movie) in the middle of watching it because Miss Australia offends him, which then prompts him to order his two worst terrorists to go kill her. Said terrorists also want to become comedians. And perhaps I’ve shied away from the random musical numbers and Neptune, God of the Sea (played by Billy Zane). You would thank me, later. Billy Zane would, too.

What you’ve really got to ask yourself is: how much of Adam Sandler’s moronic mugging can I stomach before spewing? Because that’s all this movie is: an excruciating marathon of moments that aren’t at all funny, are constantly offensive, and — to top the list of sins — aren’t interesting in the slightest. Far and away deserving of the title of “One of the worst movies ever made.”

Didja notice?

  • It’s Uncle Paulie from the Rocky movies!
  • If the opening credits/song don’t make you hate life… seriously, what will?
  • When they introduce the beauty pageant girls, the film quickly skips over Miss Spain (who’s not that pretty)
  • He needs to really stop talking and winking at the camera
  • Comedians should never wear tiny shorts or speedos
  • The ugliest rock star, ever. Including Tommy Lee.
  • Everyone keeps acting like they need to take normal human emotions, and push them to 200% intensity?
  • Worst. Kissing. Noises. Ever.
  • The pageant girl from Jamaica is incredibly white. And the France girl has no accent whatsoever.
  • Do you think he doesn’t care? He should say it again.
  • Future Happy Madison regular, Allen Covert
  • Terrible dream sequence alert!
  • A… second terrible dream sequence alert!
  • Bobby in drag. Thanks.
  • Yay for boxing fantasy sequences.
  • Noreaga feeling sorry for himself. Aww.
  • They move fast in having a funeral on board.
  • Billy Zane as Neptune, God of the Sea
  • Billy Bob Thorton… is cool, as always
  • This guy is a rock star? That song sucks on dead fish.
  • Just when you don’t think it can get any worse: laugh track.
  • Does he have to tell the same lame joke TWICE?!?
  • The Australian people are not honored by Miss Australia’s song. Trust me.
  • SLIMY!

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