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Mermaids (1990)

Cher , Bob Hoskins , Richard Benjamin  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Mermaids + Mask: Director's Cut + The Witches of Eastwick (Keepcase)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder, Michael Schoeffling, Christina Ricci
  • Directors: Richard Benjamin
  • Writers: June Roberts, Patty Dann
  • Producers: Lauren Lloyd, Patrick J. Palmer, Suzanne Rothbaum, Wallis Nicita
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000542C7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,606 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mermaids" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Cher is magical [and] electric (The Hollywood Reporter), Winona Ryder enchanting and funny (The New York Times) and Christina Ricci adorable and engaging (Variety) in this hilarious and heartwarming portrait of a 1960s single-parent family trying to adjust to each other'sgrowing independence. Charlotte (Ryder) is an adolescent girl torn between her blossoming passions for a handsome caretaker (Michael Schoeffling)...and her desire to be a nun (a tough calling for a girl who's Jewish). Complicating her already precarious teen angst is a little sister (Ricci), a determined would-be swimmer she affectionately calls fishhead, and their mother (Cher), a non-traditional, sexy, flamboyant woman who relocates them to a new town every time she causes a hint of scandalwhich is often. But even as their personal styles clash, these three incredibly different individuals begin to see that nothingnot even a life-threatening tragedycan tear apart the bonds of family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and funny September 19, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Cher plays a free-spirited, uninhibited and saucy mother of two. Charlotte (Winona Ryder) and Kate (Christina Ricci), who are about 15- and 8-years old respectively, are her daughters. Cher's behavior and appearance is an embarrassment to Charlotte who is trying to think "pure thoughts" on her way to becoming a nun. Ironically (considering Ryder's recent troubles) the part she plays has no interest in new clothes and even refuses new shoes, content with her old square boots that look like they were made in the former Soviet Union during the reign of Stalin. This is a nice (but increasingly familiar) switch on the mother who is embarrassed by her daughter's precocious sexuality, and Cher and Ryder play their parts well.
The story, from a novel by Patty Dann, begins with the trio moving into yet another town, this time somewhere in New England. They are always on the run, so to speak, because Cher is afraid of commitment or of staying around long enough to lose her heart to some guy. Enter predictably a man (Bob Hoskins) with the right stuff to win her over and a cute guy (Michael Schoeffing) to rearrange Charlotte's priorities. Director Richard Benjamin plays it as a romantic comedy ... coming of ager with wit and charm. Ryder is adorably cute as a conservative Christian miss goody two shoes who is always lecturing mom while Cher is voluptuous as the kind of woman who says yes, early and often, but underneath it all has strength and a kind of intuitive wisdom about herself and the people around her. Little Ricci really is the mermaid since she likes to practice holding her breath under water.
Part of the strength of the film is in the dialogue and the sharp repartee between Ryder and Cher. My favorite line is from Charlotte who is always dialoging with God. After seeing Schoeffing, who drives the school bus, and realizing what she is feeling, prays "Oh please God, don't make me fall in love and want to do disgusting things!"
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An quirky,entertaining piece! December 29, 2004
Mermaids is narrated by the angst-filled teenaged Charlotte Flax (Ryder), who is exasperated by the tendency of her mother (Cher) to move house (and state) as soon as the bin's full, or (more likely) as soon as her latest entanglement with a married boss starts to unravel. Mrs Flax, as Charlotte disparagingly refers to her mother Rachel, is a peripatetic soul, whose only answer to life's challenges is to leave them behind. For Charlotte, the only consolation to her most unsatisfactory lifestyle is her adoration of her little sister, Kate (Ricci), on whom she dotes. In spite of their Jewish origins, Charlotte is obsessed with the mysteries, icons and rites of the Catholic Church. Its rituals of penitence and martyrdom fascinate her and she can relate the history and grisly fate of each of the martyred saints in all their goriest detail.

As we are introduced to the Flax girls, mother and daughter are embroiled in conflict again, as they find themselves in a new home and a new state, this time Massachusetts. The brooding teenager and her charismatic mother have very different priorities of need as they set up their new home. Charlotte needs grounding, Rachel needs distraction and action. Their conflict spills over as the family goes to buy shoes, particularly when Rachel does nothing to deflect the more-than-professional attention she receives from the shoe store owner, Lou Landsky (Hoskins). This particularly galls Charlotte, who carries a fantasy in her heart that the father she never knew will one day come back and complete her family and her longing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good cast, charming story December 4, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is an enjoyable film. The eccentric 1960s soundtrack complements the eccentric family portrayed by Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci. There are some delightful moments with Ricci, especially when she sticks a pumpkin on her head and chases her mother! The film's title might seem misleading, with Mermaids only being relevant in passing. Having thought about this, Hans Christian Andersen's story of The Little Mermaid has the main character having to return to sea and not be with her lover or she will lose her freedom to swim underwater, and I think this is the point that is being made here. Cher's character has always moved on from one town (and one boyfriend) to the next in order not to lose her freedom to do so. This reflects the prevailing view of women in 1960s western society in that it would be acceptable for men to do this, but for a woman it's a little scandalous. The film falls into the trap of a lot of period drama in that almost all the cars seem like well-kept 1963 vintage vehicles, with only Cher's car being dirtied down enough to look realistic. But they look great, so why worry? Bob Hoskins plays against type as a kindly American who changes the lives of the three girls and Winona Ryder is the focus of the family as a confused teenager who sometimes seems more down to Earth than her mother. It's a charming story, well told.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good One! December 5, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Take an eccentric, single, Jewish mother who leaves town at the hint of the slightest problem, add a confused teenage daughter who wants to be a nun but has a healthy case of raging hormones, throw in a precocious younger daughter who amuses herself by seeing how long she can hold her breath under water, mix with a shoe salesman with the hots for mom and a caretaker from the local convent who is the subject of daughter number one's hots and you have a mess...and a fair little dramatic comedy.

Cher plays the mom. She is q quirky mess. Cher plays this sort of character excellently and this one is no exception. She plays her role as a 1963, single mom with all the angst that goes with having teenage daughters and does so with a sense of humor. You cannot otherwise survive the experience.

Winona Ryder plays the daughter. She doesn't get along with her mom. She hardly gets along with anyone. She is a very dedicated young lady though and cannot make up her mind about boys. She wants to be a nun and, possibly, a saint but she also wants to do "disgusting things" with the boy of her dreams. The birds and the bees are all very confusing as is evidenced when kissing the boy makes her worry that she will be the next virgin, jewish mother to give birth to a messiah. She does not think small.

Christina Ricci plays the younger girl. She is an elementary student with a talent and a passion for swimming. She is universally regarded as the "normal" one and is loved by all. That's the one thing Mom and Sis can agree on.

Bob Hoskins plays the love interest for Cher. He is good for her but straightening out her quirkiness is a fulltime job.

This is a chick flick but is different from most of that genre in that it is fun. Some guys may even enjoy it. I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was adorable!
Mermaids is not a classic but it is enjoyable and makes time go by quickly on a Sunday afternoon. It is essentially a mother and daughter movie. Read more
Published 1 month ago by zebrastripes
4.0 out of 5 stars received quickly
Received the movie before it was expected. The c captioning is stuck on and in french no less. But its a fun movie to watch.
Published 1 month ago by Josephine Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Mermaids with Cher and cast is awesome!
I have loved this movie since it came out. I now enjoy it with my daughters and my grand daughter!
Published 1 month ago by Lottie Carder
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Coming of Age Comedy
A great coming of age movie. A little quirky. Great acting. Loved seeing this again. It's one of my favorites. Recommend.
Published 4 months ago by DanceMom
5.0 out of 5 stars Mermaids DVD
I love this movie and was happy to find it. Trying to get DVD's of all the VHS movies I have. All the actors did an excellent job.
Published 5 months ago by Bama
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
I liked the movie very much and the music of the early 60's. if you were growing up during that decade it might bring back some memories for you.
Published 5 months ago by pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Film!!!
I really loved this movie! Cher is really amazing, but the acting by all the main characters was really well done! Read more
Published 7 months ago by E.Most
4.0 out of 5 stars cher
cher what can I say silly funny and what more to expect from the gal.. has some naughty parts but other then that, :)
Published 8 months ago by Shopper Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Mermaids!
Cher is very good in this movie ! She it a good actor . If you like this movie be sure to see Mask. Another great movie.
Published 8 months ago by Regina Ovrid
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Cher's best
I bought this as a birthday gift for a friend of mine who is a major Cher fan and he even impersonates Cher when he performs as a drag queen on the weekends.
Published 8 months ago by Patrick Cusack
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Out of print?
I just noticed that too.... why on earth would they do this to a mainstream movie? It looks like we'll need to buy it through a seller other than Amazon... this movie is great!
Apr 5, 2009 by Kevin Haasch |  See all 2 posts
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