Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Washington Post
It is a triumph for director Ron Howard, underwater photographer Jordan Klein, the writers and even the guy who made Hannah's latex tail (Robert Short). And it's surely the stairway to superstardom for costar John Candy and the lovely leading nyad. Splash, a departure for struggling Disney Studio, is as irresistible as the siren's song. [09 Mar 1984, p.23]
Splash, the story of a lovelorn bachelor who falls in love with a mermaid, deserves high marks both for technical verisimilitude and artistic merit.
The movie that really showed Tom Hanks' promise as a deliverer of great comedy and heart-warming pathos.
Splash could have been shorter, but it probably couldn't have been much sweeter. Only purists will quibble with the blissfully happy ending, which has the lovers swimming through a shimmering underwater paradise that is supposed to be the bottom of the East River.
Before Director Ron Howard and his gargle of writers (Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel and Bruce Jay Friedman) arrange a satisfactorily romantic ending for their odd couple, they also manage to satirize everything from presidential politics to daytime television. They are a jostling, busily observant, fundamentally good-natured crew, and audiences are well advised to take a plunge on Splash.
Howard demonstrates exactly the correct soft touch, skirting the myriad problems of taste; and Hannah, who was the punkish replicant in Blade Runner, is somehow, very much, right there.
Washington Post
Splash betrays a slightly drippy side, but by and large it's a refreshing plunge into unabashed romantic fantasy and not to be missed for the sake of John Candy, who hits the screen like a playful fat diver cannonballing off the high board. [09 Mar 1984, p.D1]
Director Ron Howard has a good sense of the whimsical, and his film is sweet and unpretentious, though somewhat ribald when one realizes the studio from whence it sprang.
This mild 1984 comedy about a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who falls in love with a New York City yuppie (Tom Hanks) isn't at all hard to take (John Candy, in a supporting role, is hilarious and original, and Hannah has a pleasant naive charm), but its appeal is based almost entirely on regression—a thematic regression to infancy (now endemic to the American cinema) and a stylistic regression to the most lulling kind of TV blandness. No wonder it's relaxing: it's a lullaby.
There is a funny movie lurking at the edges of Splash, and sometimes it even sneaks on screen and makes us smile. It's too bad the relentlessly conventional minds that made this movie couldn't have made the leap from sitcom to comedy.

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