Identity and “Overboard”

2018 film “Overboard” is a story of the loss of identity for Leonardo, the son of the third richest man in the world. After he is tossed overboard and washes up on shore with no memory, Kate, a carpet cleaner whom he ridiculed and fired for not getting him fruit while cleaning his yacht, decides to take advantage of Leonardo. She picks him up from the hospital, convincing the doctors they are married. Leonardo firmly believes she is lying, but he has no choice but to leave with her.

The amnesia that Leonardo suffered from wiped out his entire memory. However, parts of his identity were still embedded in his brain. Kate uses him to take care of the house and her kids so she can study for her nursing exam. He is shocked to learn he has to cook and clean, as he subconsciously knows he has never done that before. Even when working on a new pool at a mansion at his new construction job, he comments that he feels like that is the life he was meant to live. Leonardo eventually falls in love with Kate, her kids, and his life despite being so reluctant that that was his life. His father, who presumed he was dead, eventually finds him and brings him home. This sparks Leo’s memory and he remembers his old, luxurious life.l Leonardo realizes his feelings for Kate, and in the end chooses her and her family and life after his father threatened to take all of his money away.

In the beginning of the movie, we see one part of Leonardo’s identity. The rich, snobby, stuck up part. Later, his identity is wiped away, and Kate builds a new one for him. In the keywords essay “Identity”, identity is described as dependent on external forces such as family and economic class. This is perfectly exemplified in “Overboard”. Questions such as Who am I, How do I know what I know, help shape our identity. For Leo, these questions couldn’t be answered. Kate’s family and low economic class formed Leo’s identity into a loving, kind, hardworking man and dad. The opposite of his identity before the accident.

We see similar features in Rebecca’s American Girl Book. Rebecca has a Jewish identity, but she is living in America where she struggles with her identity and where she belongs. She feels she should be old enough to light the candles and go to the movies, but her family thinks different. Here, we see again how family shapes identity. In addition, Rebecca struggles with her Jewish identity at school. Their class is instructed to create a Christmas decoration, and Rebecca doesn’t want to as she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. At first, her family is reluctant to allow the decoration to show at their home. Eventually, they all realize they are now American too, and that identity can change. They are able to celebrate Hanukkah while also participating in the season of Christmas.

Overall, we see how identity is a flexible, ever changing aspect of every person. Leo was able to change himself from a snobby wealthy man to a poor and hardworking man who loved his family and life. Rebecca was able to find herself and learn to mesh her Jewish and American identities. Identity is formed by our situation and external forces, and is able to change with time.

Leave a Reply