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Splash is very much a film of the 1980's, a rom com that is not exactly grounded in reality but a fun harmless romp none the less. Having said that there is nothing that really makes it stand out and in my opinion it is not as good as similar films like Big or Mannequin which I felt were a bit better quality, especially in the case of Big which was very funny.
Tom Hanks who was the star of Big also stars in this comedy film, he plays Alan Bauer who is a businessman running an imported food business with his brother who is played by John Candy. Alan as a child had a strange experience when he was rescued from drowning by a strange girl who appeared out of nowhere and got him to the surface where the other passengers on the boat were able to rescue him. One day he meets Madison, played by Daryl Hannah, and although she is rather quirky he falls in love with her however she is hiding a secret from him which really turns his life upside down when he discovers it.
Eugine Levy plays a scientist who wants to prove her true identity and is not really that concerned with her safety instead he sees an opportunity for himself.
There are enough laughs in this film to keep it ineteresting for the viewer, I found it to be an enjoyable enough film and some of the scenes with Candy and Levy in them are the funniest as they are very talented comedy actors.
The acting from both Hanks and Nannah is nothing to write home about but they are cute enough together in front of the camera. This is shown quite a bit on TV so it is not worth parting with the £2.99 Amazon want for it but it is worth seeing in my opinion.
The 1980s were full of clever and feel good films, and they're the sort of films that you can spot a mile off. Splash came out in 1984, and starred Tom Hanks, a man who made his name in the decade and who has continued to enhance it in the 90s and 00s, both in front of and behind the camera. Here, he plays the more down to earth and business minded of two brothers (the other being John Candy) who run an imported food company.
We first meet Hanks' character, Allen Bauer, as a boy aboard a boat. He jumps in the water, much to the horror of the rest of the passengers, but underwater he comes across a strange girl, who drags him back up to the surface. Years later, the Bauer brothers, Allen and Freddie (Candy) are operating their fresh produce business from the docks where they get imported to, when Allen happens across a woman, Madison (Daryl Hannah) who seems rather strange. They fall in love, but there's something different about her.
Of course, we know right from the start that something is up, as we have seen her in the water. She's a mermaid, and needs to keep her legs dry in order for them to stay as real legs. The moment they get wet, they become the tail and lower body of a big fish, and she takes on her mermaid form. However, a power hungry scientist (Eugene Levy) is determined to prove she's a mermaid, despite everyone else thinking he's mad for the suggestion, and he quickly becomes the villain of the film. These main cast members do a good job of keeping the plot of this film ticking over. Hanks and Candy work together quite well, and Hannah doesn't really need to do a great deal of acting. Levy is exuberant as the scientist determined to expose Madison for who she is.
A lot of the focus of the film at the time was Hannah's 'costume'. She spends a decent part of the film in mermaid form, which basically entails the lower half of a fish and a completely bare top half. Her long blonde hair covers up her breasts for the most part, with the occasional underwater glimpse which means the film carries with it a nudity rating of PG. While there are only glimpses, it's still there, and I'm regularly surprised to see it shown during the daytime on TV, often unedited and rather revealing at times. The focus was very much on comparing her to Bo Derek's performance in '10', with the whole blonde bombshell tag being applied to her. I wouldn't say her acting is particularly special, as all she needs to do is act confused at life on land, and remain pretty throughout the film, which she manages to do.
The comedy elements in the film are welcome, as they're not over the top. Candy displays his comic timing to be top class once more, while Tom Hanks manages to include this in his run of films that contain enough comedy to make you smile loads without any outbursts of laughter. This is a good thing, and director Ron Howard makes sure that the film keeps ticking, never resting too long on one scene, the only ponderous artistic elements being any underwater moments. These moments sort of portray life underwater as being relaxing and very casual, not a worry to bother about, while life on dry land is often frantic and dangerous. It's a nice contrast. As a romantic comedy, it serves up both elements in very safe style, the romance quite straightforward (apart from the whole 'flipper' thing) and the comedy gentle and regular.
So, overall, Splash is a decent and enjoyable film. I wouldn't say it pokes its head up above the general range of 80s films that are still instantly recognisable in terms of era, but it's enjoyable from start to finish. The direction is good, the acting is decent and the plot enjoyable. Nothing special, but well worth a watch if you spot it's being shown. Recommended.
Splash is a 1984 fantasy comedy directed by Ron Howard and and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The film stars, amongst others, Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, and Eugene Levy and won an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. In the film, Hanks plays Allen Bauer, a workaholic who runs the family produce business in New York with his more carefree older brother Freddie (Candy). A flashback at the beginning of the film reveals that, as a small boy, Allen jumped into the sea from a boat during a family holiday in Cape Cod, despite not being able to swim, after spotting something in the water. Underwater, he briefly met a young girl who duly saved him from drowning before he was pulled to the surface by his family. The instant connection he felt in that moment - which he comes to believe was a hallucination of some sort - has blighted his relationships ever since but, years later, Allen returns to Cape Cod to clear his head after a girlfriend dumps him and suffers a boating accident. The unconscious Allen is again about to drown before help arrives in the shapely form of Daryl Hannah, wearing the same necklace as the girl he met all those years before. The eccentric mystery woman eventually tracks him down to New York via a wallet he dropped where they begin a seemingly perfect relationship with only one slight complication - unknown to Allen, his new girlfriend is a real life mermaid...
A minor classic, Splash is a charming and often very funny film that is lifted up an extra notch by the likeable and entertaining cast, especially a young Tom Hanks in his always enjoyable eighties comedy mode and the much missed John Candy. Despite the slightly weird 'high' concept this is a delightfully good natured and pleasant film that hasn't, with the possible exception of some of Daryl Hannah's Dynasty style shoulder pad outfits and a few cheesy bits of music, dated appreciably and is still a lot of fun. Another plus is the unobtrusive direction which wisely allows the actors to take centre stage. The flashback sequence at the beginning of the film is quite arresting (and poignant) and once into the present day, or 1984 at any rate, Hanks and Candy immediately make a winning onscreen pair and give the film a lot of energy.
The film is consistently amusing right from the start with a funny scene early in the film where Allen is an usher at a wedding and is constantly asked about the girlfriend who has left him. "She left me!" snaps Hanks eventually. "She moved out and my life's a shambles, all right? That's the news, you want the weather? Anywhere but the first three rows!" Hanks does the high speed manic exasperation thing really well. I like too the scene where Allen is drunk at the bar later and Freddie comes over to take care of him. "You see," says Candy. "Drinking is a matter of algebraic ratio. How drunk you get is caused by the amount of alcohol you consume in relation to your total body weight. You see my point? It's not that you had too much to drink. You're just too skinny." Although Freddie is Allen's older brother, he doesn't take life too seriously and is more interested in writing letters to Penthouse Magazine - "They published my letter! Here it is; A lesbian no more!" - than running their business. Candy is perfectly cast as the slobbish and not very serious Freddie.
Splash has some lovely sequences by the sea and on the water but also has plenty of enjoyable location work in New York when Daryl Hannah's 'Madison' (taken from Madison Avenue) goes in search of Allen. Madison makes a memorable entrance into the city when she comes ashore (sans flippers, Madison can 'sprout' legs when dry) naked by the Statue of Liberty. "The Statue is a gift from French citizens and has come to symbolize hope for naked women everywhere," says a distracted tour guide to his group. It's a completely alien world to Madison who is entranced by everything she sees, eventually picking up bits of English by watching television (Allen finds her crying at an episode of Bonanza!) and copying exercise programmes. Hannah is endearingly inquisitive and strange in these scenes.
The section with Allen and Madison together in New York is a lot of fun. I love the moment where the nervous Hanks accidently flips a spoon into the wall by some nearby diners as he and Madison sit in a restaurant and Daryl Hannah has a memorable moment too where she ravenously eats a lobster with her hands, much to the embarrassment of Allen. "She's very hungry," he says sheepishly to the next table. There is also the famous scene where Madison takes a bath and has to dry off incredibly quickly when Allen tries to get in. Complications eventually arise from Allen's increasing curiosity about where exactly the eccentric Madison has come from and Eugene Levy, who has his share of good moments as the nutty and accident prone marine biologist Dr Kornbluth. Kornbluth is obsessed with proving that mermaids are real and seeks to unmask Madison throughout the film, leading to some good comic moments. "I'm really a nice man," says Kornbluth. "If I had friends you could ask them."
The final third of the film introduces more familiar elements like action scenes and chases into the mix but it does give John Candy some great moments as Allen's more streetwise brother. Candy is very funy at times as the slobbish Freddie, especially a classic scene where he plays squash with Hanks. Dody Goodman also has a scene stealing part as as Mrs Stimler, Allen's's dotty secretary. "Oh, your father called," says Mrs Stimler. "He wants you to call him." Informed patiently by Hanks that his father died several years ago, Mrs Stimler replies "Do you want me to call him back?"
The real star of the film though is Tom Hanks who is quite charismatic and very funny. I can take or leave the later 'worthy' Tom Hanks, but the eighties Tom Hanks was a very funny onscreen presence in my opinion with a nice ability to do physical comedy. Hanks and Candy are a funny team but Daryl Hannah also holds her own and brings an appealing wide-eyed innocence to the role of Madison. If I had one criticism of the film though it would be that it is perhaps a tad too long for what is essentially a simple premise.
Overall, Splash is still a lot of fun with some charming and funny moments. My copy of this has four 'Special Features'. There is an enjoyable audio commentary featuring a nostalgic Ron Howard and others chatting about the film and a pleasant documentary called 'Making a Splash'. In addition the DVD also includes the original screentests, or 'auditions', of Tom Hanks (looking alarmingly youthful) and Daryl Hannah.
On a personal level, Daryl Hannah simply outshone Tom Hanks on every conceivable level in this film. She has simply never looked so good. That being said, Splash (1984), ranks up their amongest Hank's finest.
Don't ever be forgiven for thinking this is a children's film. OK, there is no swearing, no gratuitous sex or violence but the appeal is in the pure escapism this film has for adults, much in the same way "Big" still appeals to the older generations.
Watching Hanks fall for Hannah in the film is so sweet and endearing that we immediately fall for the characters and all their adorable charms, forgetting for a moment that the premise of the movie is set around a mermaid.
Eugene Levy also stars in the film but his character does not work for me and I have never see him as the ultimate bad guy, simply a bumbling idiot. John Candy plays another bit part as Hank's brother and provides the most comedy within the movie.
This was one of my all time favorite movies when I was younger. I watched this movie ALL the time, over and over and over again. It still ranks as one of my favorites to this day. I love any movie's involving mermaids, especially one that isn't a cartoon.
Splash begins in the late 1950's when a young boy (Allen Bauer, played by Tom Hanks as an adult) falls into the water and begins drowning. When all hope is lost, he is rescued by a young mermaid who swims him to safety. Allen, however, over the 25 years since this amazing event happened has convinced himself that he must have been hallucinating because there are not such things as mermaids. However, all his beliefs change when he meets a beautiful young woman, who calls herself Madison, played by the amazingly gifted Darryl Hannah, who is disoriented and running around New York City naked. The woman recognizes him and insists that Allen take her home with him. After much debate Allen agrees and so begins the eternal love that these two will eventually share.
Allen has no idea what Madison really is, you see, when she is out of the ocean she forms legs, but when her legs are touched by water her fin returns. Just as Allen realizes his deep love for Madison, Madison is captured by a government lab who wants to study and exploit her for their own personal gain. Allen is forced to believe in things he never thought possible in his quest to save the love of his life...a mermaid.
This movie is absolutely fantastic! It combines, drama, a love story, suspense, mystery, and intrigue and I highly recommend this film!
I saw Splash when it first came out. It seemed like everyone was making a big deal out of how good that it was and that it was Ron Howard’s first time directing a movie. I must admit that as hokey and silly as this film was I did enjoy it. Splash is about young businessman named Alan (Tom Hanks) who falls for a girl, not knowing that she is a mermaid (Daryl Hannah). She saved him after he falls overboard. She finds his wallet and then finds him in New York City. Her entrance is certainly different. She shows up naked as the day she was born at the Statue of Liberty, WHILE A TOUR IS BEING CONDUCTED. The police department calls Alan and gives her a large ‘I luv NYC’ T-shirt. She looks like a dirty old man’s dream in it. But that is beside the point. Did I mention that she couldn’t speak English yet? We all should be able to learn a language the way that this girl learns English. She learns it from a TV-AT BLOOMINGDALE’S. Of course she spoke like a commercial afterwards but it was funny. It was definitely one of the better scenes in the movie and helps make the movie endearing in a silly sort of way. How she ends up at Bloomingdale’s is a funny tale in itself. But to add excitement and a whole lot of silliness (almost to the point of stupidity) there is a scientist (Eugene Levy) that is tracking down this girl to prove she is a mermaid. The upside is that he adds some excitement to the plot because he is stalking her. The viewer knows to expect to see him show up throughout the movie. But there is also a flaw with it. This guy is very accident-prone. By the end of the movie, this scientist has more broken bones and various other injuries from chasing this mermaid. It provides a lot of slapstick humor and is funny for at least half to three-quarters of the time. But after that it becomes quite silly and redundant. At that point this scientist is more liability to this movie than asset. I felt that this
character could have used some improvement and some reworking. But Madison (the mermaid) finely is exposed and taken to a laboratory to be studied. Alan, his brother (John Candy), and the scientist (who now understands how wrong he was) go to the laboratory to rescue her. This is another point in this movie that needs some reworking. They get into the room where Madison is, past the security guard. Well, two of the guys bring her out all wrapped up so the guard can’t recognize her. They give him this totally lame story about how one guy was injured by the lasers coming out of the mermaid’s eyes and how she’s going berserk. The guard isn’t sure what to do and acting like an idiot who can’t his back with both hands and all ten fingers. He is very awkward. It detracts from the movie instead of enhancing it. But other than these two points this movie is great. The plot, while cute and funny, is good but could be better. It’s your basic love story. You know what I mean. Boy meets girl and falls in love with the girl until he finds out she’s really a fish. But he misses her so it doesn’t make any difference. After all he comes to her rescue. Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah seemed to have a great chemistry together though. They looked good together and interacted well with each other. Certainly the funniest scenes are between those two characters. The bathroom scene is a good example of what I mean. They spend the first day together having sex in his apartment after they do it in the elevator. Madison decides to take a bath in the middle of the night-with the bathroom door locked. Alan wakes up, finds her gone, and bangs on the bathroom door. She’s in the tub, full fin. He hears her fall out of the tub and gets frantic. He wants the door open and she can’t until she dries off (so the fins go away). She tries to get him to go make pancakes. When she finally gets to the door and opens it, her
only explanation is that she’s shy. Uh-huh, right. It is just one of those films that no matter how silly or stupid it seems in places, you can’t help yourself but like it. You laugh and cry. It’s makes for a pretty good film for those over the age of thirteen. I have already seen a few times now. I like it every time.
Splash was big news in 1984. It was the sole reason for a renewed Disney Studios forming its Touchstone Pictures subsidiary. This was so they could get away with displaying Daryl Hannah's nude bottom! It was also big news for launching the film career of Tom Hanks, who immediately became a massive box-office comedy draw in the 80s. For Ron Howard, it was the breakaway success that guaranteed he'd be able to pursue as diverse a directorial career path as he wanted to. It's a simple romance tale, spiced up by making the female lead a mermaid. The stroke of brilliance in the script was in making the comedy happen around the two leads, while letting them believably convey they are hopelessly lost in love. The comedy comes from the ever-reliable John Candy as a larger-than-life womanising older brother, and Eugene Levy as a scatty scientist. Although New York looks a little different today, the movie has hardly aged at all. Which is just as well since it boldly begins "This morning." On the DVD: Splash offers a transfer that has some defects, but colours and dark areas seem just about right. We're spoiled for extras, with a warmly nostalgic Howard joining a key production crew commentary in reminiscing on how much fun they had making the movie. There's a half-hour documentary ("Making a Splash") interviewing everyone involved, including some archival footage of the late Candy. Best of all are the original Audition Tapes for Hanks and Hannah, which reveal the consummate professionals these once-hungry stars really are. --Paul Tonks