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Mermaids

1 rating: 3.0
A movie

In the early '60s, nomadic single mom Mrs. Flax (Cher) packs up her two daughters, Charlotte (Winona Ryder) and Kate (Christina Ricci), in a beat-up Chevy wagon and moves to small-town Massachusetts. Preteen Kate is obsessed with swimming, while … see full wiki

1 review about Mermaids

A quirky chick-flick

  • Apr 2, 2008
Rating:
+3
My wife and I recently watched this movie and when it was over, she called it a "quirky chick-flick." I couldn't agree more. Cher is a talented actress, but that talent is truly displayed when she plays an unusual character. That is the case here. In this movie, she is Mrs. Flax, a woman with two daughters that is ahead of her time. Abandoned by her husband during the birth of her first child and having been impregnated by a guest at the hotel where she was working as a maid, Mrs. Flax stays in a location for a short time and then moves on. Given the time setting of the early sixties, it makes her very unusual.
This is very hard on her children, particularly the oldest daughter Charlotte. Having been unable to establish roots, Charlotte's goal is to become a Catholic nun, even though she is Jewish. Throughout the early part of the movie, there are voiceovers of what is going through her mind as she encounters various forms of temptation. These voiceovers add a degree of seriousness and comedy to what is the very serious problems of a teenage girl. Kate is the youngest daughter and a great swimmer with Olympic hopes. She practices holding her breath in the bathtub, which makes for occasional humorous interludes.
On a whim that is a stab on a map, they end up in a small town in Massachusetts, where Mrs. Flax meets Lou, a shoe salesman played by Bob Hoskins. Mrs. Flax and Lou hit it off immediately and they enter into an unusual romance. The degree to which Cher and Hoskins blend and play off of each other is amazing, it seems that their opposite actual personalities serves them very well as they play opposites on the screen.
There are two high points in the movie. The first is the assassination of President Kennedy and the reaction of the people. This is very well done, the tenseness of the people surrounding television sets in stores and businesses and the looks on their faces. The second is when Charlotte is experiencing her first sexual encounter and Kate falls in the water and almost drowns. This brings all of their tensions and problems to the surface, where Charlotte finally expresses all of the frustrations about her life and admits that her father will not be coming back.
Not by any means a great movie, this is one with many unusual twists and turns as people with problems try to cope and overcome them. It has the unusual aspect that you feel happy for Charlotte when she is engaging in sex for the first time, even though it clearly is the wrong thing to do at that time.

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"A quirky chick-flick"
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