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Mermaids (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  14 December 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,862 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 25 critic

An unconventional single mother relocates with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Miner ...
Betsy Townsend ...
Richard McElvain ...
Paula Plum ...
Dossy Peabody ...
William Paul Steele ...
Rex Trailer ...
Pete Kovner ...
Perfect Family Father
Patricia Madden ...
Perfect Family Mother


After yet another failed relationship, Mrs. Flax (Cher) ups her family to the east coast to start all over again. Reluctantly dragged along with her is her daughter Charlotte - going through a very confusing time of her life - who wants to become a nun, and instead falls in love with a quiet, mild-mannered church employee, to the mixed response of her mother. Set at around the time of the Kennedy Assassination. Written by Paul Skerry <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This is our mother. Pray for us. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi madre es una sirena  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)


$35,419,397 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario - edited)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to 'The New York Times, "the performance inside the costume was engineered entirely by Cher". See more »


During the fight between Charlotte and Mrs. Flax (in the kitchen, after Kate nearly drowns,) Mrs. Flax leaves the kitchen and returns with a suitcase, the mascara of her right eye running down her cheek. We cut away, and quickly cut back; her eye makeup is perfect. See more »


Rachel Flax: [to Charlotte as she goes out to spend time with Joe] Don't do anything I wouldn't do...
Rachel Flax: Or don't do anything I would!
See more »


Referenced in Uptown Girls (2003) See more »


Mambo Italiano
Written by Bob Merrill
Performed by Rosemary Clooney
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
See more »

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User Reviews

A magic potion!
27 March 2001 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

A delightful period piece set appropriately in 1963. Appropriate because Charlotte (Wynona Ryder), like the nation, is about to shed a little of her innocence and face some difficult realities. Cher, Ryder and an adorably young Christina Ricci are perfect as a single parent family. Cher, in her best work ever, including Moonstruck, is a free-spirited mom who only cooks finger food because anything else is too much of a commitment. Ryder, who narrates the film from her character's perspective, is a high school student who, despite her fervent wish to lead a devout life, falls in love with the local handyman. Ricci is the youngest, a champion swimmer who steals the whole movie with scenes like her pumpkin scene. (Watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about. It's unforgettable.) Bob Hoskins is hilarious as the shoe salesman who falls head over heels for Cher, family and all.

Set in coastal Massachusetts, the scenery is breathtaking, and the idyllic depiction of life in a small town in the last days of American innocence is dead on. Director Richard Benjamin, who also gave us such charming films as Milk Money and My Stepmother is an Alien, rivals Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner with this gem.

This film is perfection, an absolute 10. It's a magic potion that can make me laugh and feel good even on the worst day. I sometimes wish I could step inside a la Pleasantville and stay there.

41 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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