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Mermaids (1990)

tomatometer

57

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

70

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 51,019

My Rating

Movie Info

There's no point in recounting the many production problems and personal hostilities which plagued the filming of Mermaids: the end result is all that matters. Set in the 1960s, the film details the relationship between an unorthodox, unmarried vagabond mother (Cher), and her two daughters. The 15-year-old (Winona Ryder), continually embarrassed by her flamboyant mother, wants to be the world's greatest Catholic; the nine-year-old (Christina Ricci) would be satisfied with becoming the world's

PG-13,

Comedy, Romance

Patty Dann, June Roberts

Feb 6, 2001

Orion Home Video

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Cast

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (6) | DVD (9)

The delightful Ryder, billing notwithstanding, is really the star.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Self-conscious, eccentric...

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Miss Ryder is so good, in fact, that "Mermaids" might have dared to be a tougher, more satisfying movie than the stylish sitcom it is.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I found a lot of it preposterous, but I enjoyed that quality. Why do we look at movies? To learn lessons and see life reflected back at us? Sometimes. But sometimes we simply sit there in the dark, stupefied by the spectacle.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Having made something of a specialty of woe-is-me, adolescent angst, Ryder finds a deeper level here, a level of comedy with something genuinely painful mixed in.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's awash in mediocrity, waterlogged with innocuousness and redeemed only occasionally by sweet-faced Ryder.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Moving, but teen sex content meant for discussion.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Three generations of greatness

May 6, 2005
Film Threat

A bright, buoyant comedy about an unusual mother-daughter relationship.

July 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A pleasant but dull coming of age story that doesn't quite swim.

July 30, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

When "Mermaids" is on the mark it's a riot - but often it bogs down with pointless set-pieces that seem to go nowhere and suffers from an ending that feels contrived and overly sentimental.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

a Cher fan's dream come true, a lively tale that allows her to play the kind of free-loving free spirit she used to sing about in 1970s numbers like 'Dixie Girl' ('waitin' on tables and passin' myself around' went the lyric)

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Mermaids has more to it than first meets the eye.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Mermaids

I enjoyed it. The energy drops somewhere around the middle, but picks up quickly. The story is well told and unique. Though Cher is spectacular in the main role, it really is Winona Ryder who makes the film worth watching. She is, as usual, captivating, and makes an excellent and amiable narrator. She is perfectly cast and steals the show.
December 9, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Cute movie. I like Christina and Winona. Cher gets on my nerves a bit, but I think her character is meant to be annoying. Coming of age tale set in the 60's.
May 25, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

Mermaids is the story of a family of three ladies, a mother and her two daughters. Winona Ryder plays the eldest daughter who actually looks down her mother. Ryder dreams of becoming a nun so that she can live a pure and honest life. Cher is the mother, who constantly moves her family around whenever she fails at a relationship. Ryder is tested by a young man that she starts to have feelings for while Cher has difficulty adjusting to a serious relationship with Bob Hoskins. It's a fine film on all accounts as both a comedy and a romantic drama. The rift between Cher and Ryder is an easy one to understand and they both play it brilliantly. You always get the feeling that they are tired of one another, but the love is always present. Hoskins is a fantastic and surprising romantic lead. He gives off a strong dominant force, but also comes across as fragile. It's his strength that gradually repairs this family. Christina Ricci stars as the youngest daughter and it's no surprise she became a star. She manages to do young and cute without being annoying. The soundtrack helps to capture the time period very well. The pacing is often off and it feels like an edited down novel, but when it's hitting those high notes in terms of comedy or drama it is a great watch.
August 20, 2012
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

I read the Wikipedia synopsis before I started watching this film and I thought the Winona-Joe romance was going to be super uncomfortable (I mean HELLO, you are pushing 30 and you are taking the virginity of a 15-year-old girl?!?!? Pull it together man), but it kinda wasn't. I think it is because Winona is super precocious and odd. Anyway. The family of Cher-Winona-Christina Ricci made a lot of sense, and I think one's enjoyment of the movie rests in the believability of the strength and love of the the family bond. I personally thought it was great.
April 20, 2012
jennifxu

Super Reviewer

    1. Charlotte Flax: Please God, don't let me fall in love and want to do disgusting things.
    – Submitted by Christian F (9 months ago)
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