A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Excellent "message" at film's end: Girls' friendship and love are more intimate, trusting, and lasting than romance.
Violence & Scariness
Some stormy imagery (indicating mermaid's father's anger).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Minor kissing, flirting, worries about a date for the big party; mermaid wants to discover "true love" with human boy.
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Occasional use of mild language ("bitch").
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Products & Purchases
Morton salt, teen dating magazines.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the film concerns a mermaid's search for "love" among humans, and the comedy involves teenaged flirting, sexual tensions, and giddy girl behavior. Mermaid wears tight outfits, audacious girls appear in bikinis, and the "good girls" dress like tomboys. Girls read teen magazines about how to attract boys, the favorite boy is objectified in slow motion (reference to typical objectification of girls). Characters discuss sex and bodies (breasts, implants) and use mild profanity. Tense family situations include discussion of a girl's parents' drowning, another girl's parents' divorce, and an upcoming move, threatening to split up the girls' friendship. Very brief scare scene during a rainstorm. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie adapts mermaid rules from Splash (Aqua can grow legs during the day, but her fishtail comes back at sundown or if her legs get wet) in order to set up absurd situations. As well, Aqua's "otherness" is marked by her naïve childishness, combined with physical oddities (fingernails that change color to show her emotions, live starfish she wears as earrings and who whisper in her ear that she's "smart" and "beautiful"), and a sensual maturity (Ray is quite smitten as soon as he sees her, though perplexed by her strange behavior).
True, the film leans too heavily on its "villain," the wealthy Cecilia (Arielle Kebble), to amp up the dramatic tension (as she competes for Ray's attention by lying and cheating). And true, Aqua is not so charming as the human girls, especially Roberts as Claire, who is convincing and adorable. But for all the narrative awkwardness and abuses heaped on Cecilia, the film comes up with a terrific ending, underlining the importance of the girls' friendship (including their new friendship with Aqua) over romance.
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Our Editors Recommend
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