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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Joe
...
...
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
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Storyline

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 <pauls@miles33.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mom Is Many Things. . .Normal Isn't One of Them. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi madre es una sirena  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,419,397 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario - edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Source novelist Patty Dann has said of this filmed adaptation of her "Mermaids" (1986) novel: "It was wonderful and a bit overwhelming. I would be sorting socks on the bed and get calls like, Barbra Streisand wants to do the movie, and I'd just say, sure, and then Cher ended up playing the mother. It was a wild experience. I like the movie very much. The first time I saw it without music it had a very different feel, and it took a while to get used to the soundtrack. When I wrote it, I never thought about music in the background, but now I put the music on sometimes when I clean the house". See more »

Goofs

When Charlotte, faints in the hallway you hear her hit the floor but her feet are still moving backwards. See more »

Quotes

Lou Landsky: If you care about us, would it kill you to show it?
Rachel Flax: "Us"? When did YOU and *my* children become "us"? You're just YOU, Lou - me and the girls, THAT'S "us"!
Lou Landsky: I was talking about you and me.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Dominique
Written by Soeur Sourire and Noel Regney
Performed by Soeur Sourire
Courtesy of Sullivan Productions, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
"The 400 Blows", as seen through a girl's eyes
7 August 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

(Small-town Massachusetts fills in for Paris.)

Every shot, every nuance in this film is just right. That's mostly Richard Benjamin's doing, but the great cast got inspired -- maybe by the glowing fall colours, maybe by the nostalgic fashions of 1963 -- to really outdo themselves.

Richard Benjamin's direction deserves extra credit because he was not filming his own autobiography, the way François Truffaut was in 1959. Similarities in the two storylines encompass more than just the awkwardness of adolescence. (Charlotte watches the Singing Nun on television, while Antoine lights a candle before a holy image of Balzac.)

Cher is as good as she was earlier in "Moonstruck", while Winona exceeds her performance in "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael". And they both prove they can be pretty in pink.

Bob Hoskins and Cher have a genuine chemistry. Who ever would have predicted that they would make the ideal romantic couple?

If there's a better, truer, or funnier story of a girl's coming of age, I haven't been lucky enough to see it.


28 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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