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 accomplishments). 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.
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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April 5, 2019