(director: Ron Howard; screenwriters: Bruce Jay Friedman, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel/story by Friedman; cinematographer: Don Perman; editors: Michael Hill/Daniel P. Hanle; music: Lee Holdridge; cast: Tom Hanks (Allen Bauer), Daryl Hannah (Madison), John Candy (Freddie Bauer), Eugene Levy (Walter Kornbluth), Dody Goodman (Mrs Stimler), Richard B. Shull (Dr Ross); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Brian Grazer,; Touchstone; 1984)

A mild and bland slapstick Disney comedy.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A mild and bland slapstick Disney comedy directed by so-so director Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”/”Frost/Nixon”) from a story by Bruce Jay Friedman.

It’s a re-working of the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, that’s filled with infantile charm and sometimes funny mermaid bits. Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks) is a yuppie bachelor NY fruit market wholesaler vacationing off Cape Cod. It’s the same spot he was rescued as a child from drowning by a mermaid, after falling off a boat. He’s again rescued by the same mermaid (Daryl Hannah), who follows him to Manhattan. She names herself Madison and learns English from watching TV. Allen falls for her, unaware she’s a mermaid until he realizes he loves a fish.A crazy bumbling marine biologist (Eugene Levy) trying to prove that mermaids are real almost spoils his romance by being so obsessive over his research, while John Candy steals the film as Tom’s nutty older brother. The fantasy film, more like a TV sitcom than a movie, found favor with audiences who propelled the little known Howard, Hannah and Hanks into Hollywood stars.

REVIEWED ON 6/23/2018 GRADE: C+   https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/