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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Aside from the fact that Allen falls in love with a woman who at first seems dumb and mute, he seems to be confusing sex for love. Madison lies about who she is. Allen lies in order to save her. Overall, a love story with a "love conquers all" message expanded to include the true love between a man and mermaid.
Positive Role Models
No real positive role models in the movie.
Violence & Scariness
Allen jumps overboard as a child and later almost drowns when he falls in the water and is hit on the head by a boat. In a series of comic pratfalls, Walter is constantly beaten up for throwing water on the wrong woman, and nearly run over by an Army jeep. Most of the violence is offscreen. Lead character smacked in the crotch by a mermaid fin.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Madison is often shown naked from the back, with only her hair covering her private parts. Freddy is lecherous, bringing porn magazines into work, bragging of getting an erotic letter published in Penthouse, dropping coins to look up girls' skirts, etc. Allen is naked in a tub of water in a research lab, covering his private parts with his hands. Allen and Madison are shown in bed together and making out in the elevator. They talk about having sex in every room in his apartment. Freddy convinces a skeptical security guard that he is a Swedish marine biologist by telling the guard in Swedish, "I have a 12-inch penis." When asked how he learned Swedish, Allen says he learned from watching Swedish pornographic films. An elderly secretary who seems to be senile is shown wearing her bra on the outside.
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Occasional profanity: "bitch," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "hell." In Swedish, one of the characters tells a military guard, "I have a 12-inch penis." When asked how he learned Swedish, he says he picked it up watching Swedish pornographic movies. Talk of sex, talk of sex with a mermaid.
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Products & Purchases
Bloomingdale's department store is a catalyst for action in the movie, and is the setting for one of the scenes. One the characters talks of getting one of his letters published in Penthouse Magazine; he later tells a crowd of reporters that unless they are with Penthouse, he and his brother will not talk to them. Ad for Carlton cigarettes clearly shown on the roof of a cab.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
After a wedding, lead character gets extremely drunk at a bar, slurring his speech while trying to lament his lack of a love life to bar patrons and the bartender. Cigarette smoking. Beer drinking. Wine drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Splash is a 1984 comedy in which Tom Hanks falls in love with a mermaid. Literal-minded teens may take this fantasy for an idealized version of what relationships are like. Especially for young girls, this film may encourage them to think that what they look like is more important than what they think. There's some brief nudity (Madison is often shown naked from the back, with only her hair covering her private parts, Allen is naked in a tub of water in a research lab, covering his private parts with his hands) and comic violence, and the main characters are quite sex-crazed, though not much more than elevator make-out sessions are shown. Hanks' character is extremely drunk at a bar after a wedding, slurring his speech. Cigarette smoking. A character says in Swedish (with subtitles) "I have a 12-inch penis." Occasional profanity: "bitch," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "hell." Freddy is lecherous, bringing porn magazines into work, bragging of getting an erotic letter published in Penthouse, dropping coins to look up girls' skirts, etc. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Still full of soggy logic and romance many years after its initial theatrical release, Splash works well enough for a fantasy. But as a modern parable about relationships, it sets a bad example for young girls -- undoubtedly a key demographic for the film, rated PG. Splash is proof that guys will date anyone if she's hot enough. Allen and Madison fall into bed together without Madison saying a word. She's prone to exposing herself in public, stealing his wallet for a shopping spree, and talking like a 10-year-old, which makes her seem, frankly, a little developmentally delayed. But she's pretty and she's hot for him. And that's all that matters.
What we have here is an image of lust based on appearance, with some hints toward love at first sight. But for young girls already preoccupied about their weight and appearance, this film has the potential to further confuse sexual attention for true affection.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.