Splash is a 1984 fantasy romantic comedy directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. It is a sweet, albeit clichéd movie.
Splash is about a young man who falls in love with a mermaid, but doesn’t know it at first. This is the kind of film that doesn’t have anything deep or inspired about it, but is nonetheless extremely entertaining and even charming to watch. It is a harmless diversion above all. I liked the story overall with the first act being especially good as it was a great introduction to the story and characters and the second act being the funniest. However, the third act ruined it for me with that cop-out happy ending that just seemed out of place and frankly ridiculous.
Allen is such a charming and fun character whereas Madison is great as a mermaid and his love interest. She is typical and yet so sweet that you can’t help but love her. As for Freddie, he often annoyed me, but is mostly funny and an okay sidekick. And Dr. Walter is the most annoying character here and the one that does have his moments, but is mostly one-note and boring.
As for the acting, it is passable. Nobody here does a particularly great job, but they are all still okay. Daryl Hannah is fine and likable in her role while Eugene Levy did a nice job as well. John Candy is quite good and funny. And Tom Hanks is really charming and likable as always and he gave a solid performance in his breakout role.
Splash is an entertaining movie with often interesting details, but for the most part the attention to detail is underwhelming unfortunately. And the film definitely does not establish enough rules in its fantasy theme. It works as a fantasy nonetheless because the mermaid is well established and it works as a romantic comedy because the two leads are charming together. The dialogue is okay and the direction from Ron Howard is solid. This is one of his most purely entertaining and fun movies. The score is forgettable, but the pacing is solid and the film is never boring despite its longer running time for the genre.
The humor is hit-or-miss. Some of it is really funny and amusing whereas some of it is typical and obvious for the time period. The emotion is well handled as the movie is thankfully never too corny despite its great potential to be so. The tone is well handled and it is interesting that the movie takes a subject research/everyone learns about her instead of the route where only the protagonist learns about her identity and only at the very end. That was interesting and although that research angle is also immensely familiar by now, it was surprisingly well handled for the most part. But that ending infuriated me as it was such a ridiculous way to end the movie, nonsensical and just stupid. Overall, Splash is a fun experience if you tune out your brain and enjoy it as a pure entertainment which it truly is along with being a really sweet and charming movie with a lot of heart at its core. It is a solid romantic comedy that is worth a watch.