Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Romantic Film review - Splash

I watched this again the other night.

I've always loved it, despite the inappropriate 'anorexia joke (remember that? the woman in the store says her daughter is lucky, she's thin because she has anorexia? It become one of the most notoriously bad jokes of the 80's - and probably ever) the rest of the screenplay is so witty it still brings a chuckle all these years later. Not to mention being one of John Candy's greatest roles. The scene when he tells his brother Allen (Tom Hanks) that he is jealous of his life always brings a tear to my eye.

Splash is one of those odd films with a completely ludicrous premise that actually works. It helps that Ron Howard is the director and Tom Hanks is the star, but so many things that could have gone "wrong" don't in Splash.

Take Daryl Hannah for one. She may have been sort of no where in the 90's, but despite her being considered a bimbo, she is a great actress - one of those most likely considered a bimbo simply because she is beautiful. She was great in Blade Runner and Wall Street and it is an easily argued point that the success of Splash hinges on her convincing performance as the mermaid Madison. I mean, if she sucked, if that role was weak in any way, the film wouldn't have worked.
And how do you play a mermaid and take the role seriously?

The other off thing about Splash that somehow works really well, is the surprise ending, which I won't spoil for the three people who haven't seen Splash, but I will HINT at being one of the oddest endings I think I have ever seen on a mainstream film. The main point of the film is that Madison and Allen love each other, but where they take that in the end really sets the film up for a sequel that never happened, and I think we can all thank our lucky stars for that. You can get lucky with a great mermaid film once, but I can't see anyone pulling it off twice, and this point is further underlined by the unfortunate sequel attempt made in 1988 that includes none of the original cast, and ignores the ending of the first film - so does that count?

Splash is filled with those amazing moments we all remember: the nude walk up to the Statue of Liberty and all the tourists photographing, Freddy's tossing the coins under the ladies dresses as an obnoxious child and then doing it again as an adult, Freddy's squash ball to the head (do people still play squash? - maybe I will bring it back) Madison's pronunciation of her name that blows up all the TV's, Madison buying Allen the fountain, and my favorite joke in Splash (which Daryl Hannah pulls off perfectly)...
The blue box scene when Allan gives Madison a snow dome in a Tiffanys box, and Madison thinks the box is the gift.

This is definitely a great one for a solo night - grab some popcorn, ice cream and soda of choice, set up the foot spa for a mani-pedi, and settle in for the trip down memory lane.


  1. I heard this movie was good. I'm going to have to check it out!

  2. Hi Krystol - yes! It's a great film, and heaps of fun, especially all these years later.