An unconventional mother moves her daughters in a new town, where their relationships get tested. What might be a simple storytelling plot can be enhanced by delightful performances varying from one key person to the next. That is the case of Mermaids, billed by Cher, alongside an amazing Winona Ryder and a younger Christina Ricci. Hollywood seriously needs to revive Winona Ryder's career, we need her in more movies.
The main relationship focus is really on Mrs. Flax and her daughter, Charlotte - the former being a bit childish, and the latter the stern uptight one. We see that Mrs. Flax is somewhat a commitment phobia and has a pattern - when something goes horribly wrong with their lives, they pack up and move to a different town. Charlotte also has a bit of a commitment problem - she's way too committed to whatever it is that preoccupies her attention. Despite being Jewish, she has an inkling towards Catholicism, and envisions joining the nunnery in the future.
The entire movie mostly unfolds through the relationships they have with other people, and how it affects their familial life. Charlotte, being a teenager, has been facing hormonal urges, turning to her obsession for answers. Mrs. Flax, on the other hand, might have found the perfect partner who her children are quite comfortable with, but is afraid to move to the next step. While the film doesn't really discuss the roots of their relationship problems, we are however treated to a entertaining movie with good performances.
The standout star of this movie is obviously Winona Ryder. She can make you believe anything - and her character's anecdotes are quite hilarious. It's through her narrations that she expresses her problems and her inner turmoil. She and Christina Ricci were very entertaining, even if Ricci just played a minimal role. Cher was also great as the mother - she really looked and played the role. It was as if it was written for her. I haven't seen her movie works, but she was good in this one.
This might have had a simple story, and it doesn't really put a resolution to anything, but Mermaids provide a great movie for enjoyment. I like how the characters are their own people - they have personality, instead of just drowning on a specific personality.
Final Word: A fun watch on a Saturday night.
Cast: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder
Director: Richard Benjamin