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Overboard
  • Composed by Alan Silvestri
  • Music Box Records / 2011 / 44:19

Garry Marshall’s romcom Overboard ticked all the right boxes when it opened in 1987.  How could it not, when it starred everyone’s favourite Hollywood couple, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell?  The tried-and-trusted “rich bitch brought down to earth by regular guy” formula was applied, and worked.  For the music, Marshall turned to Alan Silvestri, fresh from his success with Predator.  Much like that score, this one is rather scary, though for an entirely different reason.  Fans of synthetic hoe-down music will love it.  People with any modicum of taste are likely to have a harder time.  The disc opens with the eight-hour-long main title cue.  Well, it’s actually four minutes, but you imagine an incessantly repeating little guitar riff over a synthesised banjo and drum machines and you can easily see how time could seem to stand still.

It actually goes on to get worse, hard though that may be to comprehend to anyone listening to the opening.  I guess a lot of people born around the same time as me would – like me – have got to play with little Casio keyboards in music lessons at school; I guess most of them would – like me – have managed to display considerably more compositional skill than is on display in the (deliberately, I pray) naff synth piano sections of this score.  Fortunately, things take an upward turn in the very aptly-named “Something Not Horrible”, in which the very pleasant, orchestral love theme first appears.  Some of the bluegrass instrumental (harmonica, bass, a few strings) is also not in any way objectionable.  Aside from a couple of reprises of the love theme, the other redeeming features are when the score turns orchestral as it nears its conclusion, with some half-decent dramatic material appearing over the last fifteen minutes or so.  I doubt that even Silvestri’s strongest admirers would consider this all that fondly, though – stick the finale on a compilation and you have the longest version of the love theme, which is still only really mid-range music by this composer’s standards – and yet it’s lightyears beyond anything else in the score.  * 1/2

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  1. Matt on Thursday 12 January, 2012 at 20:10

    This score holds some 80′s nostolgia for me and I wouldn’t give it a * 1/2 score. Granted the opening title is extremely cheesy, but I really enjoyed the softer moments of this score. I think it’s a great love theme and very memorable. I’ve heard scores way worse that merit a one and a half star rating, but not this one.

  2. Cindylover1969 on Friday 13 January, 2012 at 05:00

    I think FSM board poster First Breath would strenuously dispute this review. And then some.