Concept

Mermaids (1990 film)

Summary
Mermaids is a 1990 American family comedy-drama film directed by Richard Benjamin, and starring Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder, Michael Schoeffling, and Christina Ricci in her film debut. Based on Patty Dann's 1986 novel of the same name, and set in the early 1960s, its plot follows a neurotic teenage girl who moves with her wayward mother and young sister to a small town in Massachusetts. Originally planned as the English-language debut of Swedish director Lasse Hallström, the film was ultimately directed by Benjamin after both Hallström and Frank Oz abandoned the project. Filming of Mermaids took place in various locations in Massachusetts in the fall of 1989. Released in December 1990, Mermaids was met with critical acclaim, particularly for the performance of Ryder, who received a Golden Globe Award nomination and a National Board of Review Award. Ricci also won a Young Artist Award for her performance. In 1963 Oklahoma, Charlotte Flax is a neurotic 15-year-old whose carefree single mother, Rachel, relocates Charlotte and her 9-year-old half-sister, Kate, each time she ends a relationship. Rachel's parenting approach – which more resembles friendship than mothering – troubles the anxiety-ridden Charlotte, who is embarrassed by her mother's flamboyant nature. After ending an affair with her married employer, Rachel and her daughters move to the small town of Eastport, Massachusetts where she also gets a job as a receptionist for a lawyer. Charlotte is ecstatic about their new home's location, as it borders a convent, and she is obsessed with Catholicism, to the annoyance of her irreligious Jewish mother. Charlotte soon becomes enamored with Joe Peretti, a 26-year-old caretaker of the convent and local school bus driver. Meanwhile, Rachel meets a local shoe store owner, Lou Landsky, and slowly begins a relationship with him. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Charlotte finds Joe ringing the convent bell and consoles him. However, as they begin to kiss, she feels filled with sin and flees.
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