ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – S – Splash (1984) Movie Review

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Bruce Jay Friedman (Screenplay) Brian Grazer (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Dody Goodman, Shecky Greene, Richard B Shull

Plot: A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saved him from drowning as a boy. He falls in love with her, not knowing who or what she is.


Tagline – She was the woman of his dreams… she had large dark eyes, a beautiful smile and a great pair of fins.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fantasy Love Story 101

Story: Splash starts as we see businessmen brothers, Allen (Hanks) who has his head straight when it comes to business, while Freddie (Candy) tends to get them both in trouble more often than not. When Allen decides to return to his family holiday home in Cape Cod, he gets to be reunited with a mermaid Madison (Hannah) who saved his life as a child and again as an adult.

Returning to New York, Allen finds that Madison has followed him their to return his wallet and finds himself needing to take care of her, as the two fall in love once again, though Madison is trying to keep her secret from Allen.

Thoughts on Splash

Characters – Allen is the straight-headed businessman, he doesn’t have much in his life outside of work with his latest relationship going down the drain and his brother always causing more problems at work. He tries to escape his work life, only to find himself returning to a holiday home, where he is saved by a mysterious woman, who later comes into his life in New York, showing him to fall in love. Madison is a mermaid, she saved Allen’s life when he was young and again when he was older, she decides to visit him in New York to spend one week with him, where she learns the culture quickly as she spends time in New York, but struggles to keep her secret safe from him. Walter is a scientist that is determined to discover a mermaid and spends most of the film trying to prove Madison is a mermaid. Freddie is the reckless brother of Allen that has always gotten him into trouble, strangely we seem to forget about him for a large part of the film.

PerformancesTom Hanks is wonderful in the leading role, he was a perfect choice for a comical lead that can do both serious and funny moments with ease. Daryl Hannah is great to bringing the beauty to the mermaid character as well as the naïve nature at times. Eugene Levy does get laughs, while John Candy gives us a couple of awkward moments.

StoryThe story here follows a man that meets what he thinks is a perfect woman, only for her to have a secret, she is a mermaid. This is a story that does focus on the idea of falling in love with somebody you might not see coming, while mixing the idea that scientists would want to make the most out of a potential new discovery. This is a story that does want you to believe somebody can fall in love over a week long time together and that your business partner won’t notice you being missing for a week.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy is a mixed bag because Hanks and Levy do hit hard, while John Candy’s comedy has dated pretty badly now. The fantasy idea in the film does focus on the idea of mermaids being part of the world, with the romance needing to look at how the two people can fall in love quickly.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which does literally show Madison being a fish out of water.


Scene of the Movie – Hanks in a boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Freddie’s up-skirt actions.

Final Thoughts This is a fun fantasy comedy that just hasn’t dated on the same level it could have, but it does show just how talents Tom Hanks was going to be.

Overall: Dated Comedy.

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