An "alien" picture from an alien source (Disney with a new moniker), SPLASH, for all its nudity and hip humor, is a throwback to pictures of days past such as NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER (1914) and MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID (1948). Nevertheless, young viewers who never heard of the
aforementioned thought that this film was wildly creative and flocked to the theaters. The premise is simple: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, but girl is not girl at all--she's a mermaid. Mermaid Madison (Daryl Hannah) meets Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks), a bright, young man who is a wholesale fruit
and vegetable dealer in New York. Allen works with his brother, Freddie (John Candy), a smarmy playboy pudge. Madison is human when on dry land but the moment she is touched by saltwater, she reverts to her half-woman, half-fish form. Walter Kornbluth (Eugene Levy), a scientist who suspects that
Madison is a mermaid, tracks her and Allen until he finally pours water on Madison, transforming her in front of hundreds on a New York street. Naturally, some mean government types get interested at this point. Director Ron Howard has a good sense of the whimsical, and his film is sweet and
unpretentious, though somewhat ribald when one realizes the studio from whence it sprang.
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