Parents' Guide to


By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

'90s coming-of-age tale has sex, drinking, cursing.

Movie PG-13 1990 110 minutes
Mermaids Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 10+

Mermaids is an amazing movie for families with tweens (but not TOO young) to watch.

While it does have a very watered-down sex scene and lots of sexual references, Mermaids is a family movie at heart. Winona Ryder and Cher give incredible performances that I didn't see coming. It's the kind of movie that will put you in a great mood. Almost everyone should be able to relate to this story and these characters. It's a very well-done film, and all people (especially females) should watch it.
age 13+

A Favourite!

Mermaids is one of my all time favourite coming of age 90's movies! Didn't really care for it as a teen, but now it's at the top of my list! Awesome cast includes Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci, Cher, Bob Hoskins and Michael Schoeffling. Fantastic acting by these few favorite actors of mine and very underrated! It's set in the sixties and covers everything from mother daughter relationships to dating, to first loves to parenting and plenty of ups and downs in between, including the assassination of president JFK. It's a story about finding your way and making mistakes and bad decisions along the way. Sometimes you have to jump through hoops just to get there. It's very real and human story that deals with realistic topics, but it's also fun and engaging. If I haven't seen it for a couple months, I'll watch it several times throughout the week to get my fix! I just love it and the humor throughout is really nice touch. The cover may seem it's a good family movie but it's not recommended for teens under 13. Language has uses of sh*t, b*tch, @ss, asshole, d@mn, hell, godd@mn. Violence is pretty tame but includes the death of president JFK not shown but described, a child falls into water and nearly drowns, a woman slaps her daughter in the face during a huge argument, some other arguments throughout. Sexual content includes a man cheating on his wife with another woman, we see a car rocking back and forth and sex is implied. A teen is confused about sex and often imagines doing things with her crush (out loud, sometimes graphic but not explicit) who is 11 years older. A teen thinks she's pregnant but is still a virgin. A teen often wonders if nuns where underwear in the shower. A woman kisses her daughters crush. A woman goes to bed with a man on the first date, it's talked about and they're seen in bed partially clothed. A teen has sex for the first time (unprotected) and there's some fast paced groping and clothes removed but no nudity, this happens for about 10-15 seconds. A woman appears promiscuous and talks about how she got pregnant with her kids with two different men. Some tight clothes worn throughout. Bath & shower scenes with no nudity. There's smoking throughout, some drinking, a teen and her child sister get drunk together. Religious stuff throughout. 13++ viewers!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Not only is Ryder's powerhouse performance spot-on and moving -- when she cries at the end of the film, the viewer is likely to, too. Mermaids isn't the one-note sex comedy of American Pie or the inspirational drama of Gracie. It's a film that turns the most painful years of many people's lives into entertainment -- realistic, sympathetic entertainment.

Charlotte has an inner monologue that's completely different from the one she shares with the world. In her head, she's thinking, "I kissed a boy and I think I might be pregnant." But when Mrs. Flax begs her to talk, all she can do is shrug and roll her eyes. What parents and teens won't be able to relate to this? Add on the fabulous performances of Bob Hoskins and Christina Ricci and you have an adorable and moving coming-of-age movie that's likely to be as prescient today.

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