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April 12, 2010

Splash (1984)

Directed by: Ron Howard

Starring: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dody Goodman, Howard Morris, Richard B. Shull

Awww, she isn't even wearing any pants.

During the late 70's and early 80's, Disney was starting to bomb on it's childrens' fare, both animated and live-action. To bring in the whole family instead of little kids, Disney decided to release several adult-orientated fare like Tron or Condorman that were determined to be memorable to anyone.
The only thing that these films attracted was major criticism for including adult themes that were considered inappropriate for a Disney film. So Disney decided that any of their films that were deemed inappropriate were sent over to the newly-formed Touchstone Pictures.

The first film that would be put to the test for the new company is the subject for my article today. Despite the fact that it's not really adult fare anymore compared to some of the stuff filmmakers get away with nowadays (although there are some elements that children will find questionable), Splash is still a very entertaining film that's both hilarious and heartwarming.

Oh my God! You killed Sebastian!

When it tries romance, it's not too mushy, and when tries comedy, they really go all the way. They balance out both the laughs and emotions, which makes the film more believable. It's certainly not a watered-down fairy tale story.


The film is about workaholic Allen Bauer (Hanks), whose girlfriend left him recently. He's then convinced that he can't fall in love. That is, until he's mysteriously rescued from a boating accident from a mysterious woman (Hannah), who's actually a mermaid that can be human on land. She has six days before she has to return to the sea or else she can never return.

To make matters worse, her "fishy" secret is soon discovered by a slimy scientist (Levy) who believes that mermaids exist, and he'll stop at nothing to make sure that the world knows about his discovery.


The ending. Not that it wasn't HORRIBLE, it just kinda stopped, in my opinion. While you see the main couple get their happily ever after, you don't see what happens to the scientist played by Levy and the main character's brother played by John Candy.

"Yeah, um, I can't find the set ofSummer Rental. Can someone help me?"
Speaking of John Candy, after watching the first 5 minutes of the film, I came to a rather suprising conclusion:

You do NOT want John Candy as your brother.

While he was a really funny actor, think about it for a second. He played a cigar-chomping relative in Uncle Buck, an obnoxious salesman in Planes, Trains, And Automobiles, AND a normal guy-turned lunatic in the forgotten Goin' Berserk. He would just drive you nuts!

Finally, the film is a bit too long, but that's it.


Everything else.

While everyone is endearing in their own way, the real star of this movie is Eugene Levy. He just KILLED me with his hilarious performance. There's two characters in one for this guy. One side is a complete nerd who is disrespected by his colleagues (even when he does get the mermaid), and the other side is a total asshole who won't let incompetence from accomplishing his goal. Only Levy can pull off angry (in a funny way) in this film.

A young mermaid determines to find Nemo.

The humour ranges from heart-warming to SCTV-inspired shtick, which means everyone who cares for lovey-dovey mush AND slapstick can get an even share of what they really love. If only Howard would make stuff like this instead of shit like The Grinch. Seriously. Why?

Man, that party must've gone outta hand!

Yeah, um, leave the posing to Daryl Hannah, Mr. Hanks.

Would making out with a mermaid be considered "guppy love"? And shouldn't Hanks be running oout of air by now?


Splash is just great. It gives viewers what they want: romance and comedy and pulls it off without any of it overweighing the other. It's a tad overlong, and the ending wasn't a good one, but that's not much of a problem. This film is definately not a fish out of water.



See ya!
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