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|Index||64 reviews in total|
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
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.
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
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.
I first saw this film as a preteen and have loved it ever since. Endlessly entertaining performances are the best thing about this underrated and understated coming-of-age comedy that features Cher doing what she does best--convincing you she rules the world, and she really does. As Rachel Flax, a headstrong and independent mother of two (Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci), she thinks nothing of jumping into her car at the slightest sign of trouble and moving to another town ("Life is change", she says). Ryder is excellent as the fifteen year-old Charlotte, a girl who thinks that the best way to fight her burgeoning hormones is to devote her life to the Catholic church as a nun, despite the fact that she's Jewish. Of course, the boy next door (the sadly now retired Michael Schoeffling) gets in the way of her holy ambitions. Bob Hoskins is also a riot as the awshucks shoe salesman who falls over himself for Rachel, first out of fascination, and then out of love. Great music, great period feel and very light, warmhearted direction by Richard Benjamin.
(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.
I have to say that this movie is incredibly underrated. The movie is from the daughter's point of view and Ryder does an excellent job playing the purtian to Cher's mother role. I can't believe Christina Richie's first role- even back then she was incredible. She has a way of stealing the movie. This movie has a sad vibe. Here's the point of the movie, once you see it , you can remember the feelings and 10 years later I'm able to remember how wonderful it is. The music to the movie is awesome. I, along with several of my friends have this soundtrack which makes me think this was one of the first true soundtrack purchases from the 90's
Winona Ryder is fantastic in this movie - its a helluva part and she plays
it for all it is worth. Whether she is worshipping Joe (the local
hunk-deluxe), or watching 'The Singing Nun' on television, she is completely
believable. Her relationship with her less-than-perfect Mother (Cher) is
also believable. As a bonus, you get Christina Ricci and Bob Hoskins and
some beautiful cinematography. It also has a real feel for the
Downsides are one cliche too many (WHY does every movie that takes place in the 60's have to feature JFK's assassination?) and it goes on a tad too long, but its worth watching for sure.
Cher and Wynona Ryder are very believable as Mrs. and Charlotte Flax,
respectively. Mrs. Flax is a single mom who lives by the motto "Real
women never get too old." Her bright, bold, sexy ways make her a
special woman but aren't enough to spare her from all the
characteristic pains of single motherhood. Moving from town to town
with every new relationship, she finds herself at odds her 15 year old
Charlotte wants to be everything her mother isn't - pious, proper, humble, and pure. Her good intentions, however, are constantly in conflict with her basic nature, which is more like her mothers. Charlotte develops a fierce crush on Joe, the caretaker at a nearby convent. When Mrs. Flax's potentially serious relationship with the endearing Lou, played by Bob Hoskins, hits a rough patch, she too finds herself attracted to Joe. With competition for his affection to add fuel to the fire between Mrs. Flax and Charlotte, the only thing they can seem to agree on is caring for Katie, Charlotte's little sister, charmingly played by a young Christina Ricci. As things come to a head in the small town where the Flaxes are living, Katie's well-being hangs in the balance while both her mom and older sister try to work through their impulses.
I think this is a delightful movie. The period details are fun, Cher is GREAT, and the chemistry between Hoskins, Cher, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci is excellent. Ryder is especially good at capturing that mixure of idealism, angst and embarrassment which is adolescence.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not to say that this movie is a rarely talked about movie, but an
underrated chick flick. "Mermaids" tells the story of an upbeat mother
named Rachel Flax (Cher) who after every failed relationship she moves
to another state along with her two daughters Charlotte and Kate
(Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci)and finally settles down in a small
town in Massachusetts and finds herself in a relationship with a
shoe-salesman named Lou Landsky (Bob Hoskins). However, she's fearful
of commitment and the struggles to accept this man to be in
relationship is a fear she must overcome. Meanwhile her oldest daughter
Charlotte wants to become a nun (although she happens to be Jewish and
not Catholic) is also smitten for an attractive older school bus driver
Joseph Porretti (Michael Schoeffling). Her youngest daughter is
obsessed with water and the ocean and has a future planned to peruse a
career in the aquatics (she has already won several awards for her
The characters are so rich and it should be thanked to the great performances by the cast who made it all possible. It seems that the performers were custom made to fit his and her respected roles, though several of the major stars were not the original choices for these parts. The director of the movie was Richard Benjamin who was hired after Lasse Hallstrom and Frank Oz were given the ax by the star Cher. For the part of Charlotte Flax, British thespian Emily Lloyd was slated but she was let go because they wanted a character that had some physical resemblance to Cher and so Ryder became her replacement (she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress). To me it was a perfect match.
Though she's been snickered and jabbed at by the media, but I think she's a very good performer and she has never once turned in a performance that made me want to put a bag over my face. Rachel Flax reminds me a lot of my own mother. She's light-spirited, spontaneous and just the right person to visit for a tuna sandwich and lemonade. A bit of a philanderer, but that soon changes once Lou wants to be in a committed relationship with her.
The story caters through the eyes of the eldest daughter; Charlotte who seems obsessed with everything that is Catholic and at the same time cannot keep her mind off of Joseph. She does not want to end up inheriting any of her mother's unorthodox traits, while at time feels obligated to take up that task of second mother to her much younger sister Kate. Charlotte's trials and tribulations add the right touch of humour and pathos that flow by very immaculately as the film carries through.
Based on a novel by Patty Dunn, "Mermaids" has an equally amount of laughter and choices the right time when serious issues come into fruition. The chemistry between Cher and Hoskins are just as equally engaging as the chemistry between Ryder and Schoeffling. The direction was simple and easy to follow and the feeling of the 1960's plays along very nice with a great soundtrack, this is a romantic comedy that isn't sappy or preachy, just a lot of fun and chuckles that will amuse you in the 1:50 minute duration.
Mermaids is the story of a family of three ladies, a mother and her two daughters. Winona Ryder plays the eldest daughter who actually looks down her mother. Ryder dreams of becoming a nun so that she can live a pure and honest life. Cher is the mother, who constantly moves her family around whenever she fails at a relationship. Ryder is tested by a young man that she starts to have feelings for while Cher has difficulty adjusting to a serious relationship with Bob Hoskins. It's a fine film on all accounts as both a comedy and a romantic drama. The rift between Cher and Ryder is an easy one to understand and they both play it brilliantly. You always get the feeling that they are tired of one another, but the love is always present. Hoskins is a fantastic and surprising romantic lead. He gives off a strong dominant force, but also comes across as fragile. It's his strength that gradually repairs this family. Christina Ricci stars as the youngest daughter and it's no surprise she became a star. She manages to do young and cute without being annoying. The soundtrack helps to capture the time period very well. The pacing is often off and it feels like an edited down novel, but when it's hitting those high notes in terms of comedy or drama it is a great watch.
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