The role of Charlotte initially went to Emily Lloyd, who went to receive $435,000 and 2.5% of the net profits from the film. When Cher complained that the fair-haired Lloyd could not look like her daughter, she was cast out of the film and replaced by Winona Ryder. Lloyd then sued Orion Pictures Corporation and Mermaid Productions, reaching a settlement on the second day of the trial, 30 July 1991.
In the scene where Charlotte and her mother fight about Kate's accident, Charlotte gets angry and breaks a plate. The scene ends with her mother slapping her in the face after a rude comment. The exact same things happened in Cher's film Mask (1985).
Emily Lloyd had actually started shooting when Winona Ryder became available and Lloyd was unceremoniously dumped. (She later won a sizeable cash settlement from the production company for being booted off the film). Original director Frank Oz was also replaced, reputedly at Cher's insistence.