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Mermaids (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  14 December 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,863 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


Mom Is Many Things. . .Normal Isn't One of Them. 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?


One of a number of period comedies directed by Richard Benjamin. The films include Mermaids (1990), City Heat (1984), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), My Favorite Year (1982), Racing with the Moon (1984) and Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001). See more »


Although the latter portion of film takes place in January, we never see any evidence of snow, even though the film is set in Massachusetts. Also, the characters don't always seem to dress appropriately for winter in Massachusetts, dressing more as if it were autumn. See more »


Charlotte Flax: I'm going to make real sandwiches; big ones that a man can sink his teeth into.
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Addams Family' (1991) See more »


Written by Otis Blackwell (as John Davenport) & Eddie Cooley
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

A Delightful Little Film
17 May 2010 | by (your daughters bedroom) – See all my reviews

I've seen this film a number of times, and I always enjoy it. What stands out most about this film is the acting, and the overall feel of the film. It feels tremendously authentic to its time and subjects. The acting is very good throughout, and the movie is just a very fun, and very human story. One that is easy for almost anyone to relate to in some way.

There are a number of great performances in this film. Winona Ryder plays one of her most interesting characters, and she pulls it off very well. Bob Hoskins is very strong and enjoyable as usual. Personally I have always loved Cher's acting. I can't say I'm a huge fan of her music, but I've always had some respect for her there too. However her acting has always been very strong in my opinion. I know she has been nominated for multiple Oscars and even won one for Moonstruck. However I still think her acting is somewhat underrated by most people. (And she also gave Nick Cage his first huge break after demanding that the studios cast Cage opposite her in Moonstruck. Cage was thought to be somewhat of a risky bet back in those days, and Cher basically made the major studios take the chance with him. Which I find somewhat funny, and also very Cher like.). Cher also had the original director of this film, and the girl who was originally cast in Winona's part fired. So Winona fans also have Cher to thank for her even being in this film. It's hard to criticize Cher for getting rid of these originals either, seeing as how well the film turned out with the people she approved. She is a very strong minded and hearted woman in my view, and if you take a look at Silkwood, Mask, Moonstruck, and this nice little film. You will undoubtedly also see that this woman can flat out act. She has some other decent films as well.

Anyway, all in all, I highly recommend Mermaids to anyone that likes character driven film. And basically to any teen, male or female. It is basically a coming of age story in terms of Winona's character, and even for Cher and Hoskins characters to some degree too. :) And there is a lot to relate to in terms of the parent/child relationship, especially the single parent. Those with Attention Deficit Disorder , or those who get bored easy may not get into it however. :) I gave this film a 7, but I'm a pretty strict rater, and this film is a very solid 7 in my opinion. In fact, I'd give it a 7.5 if I could.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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