Rolling Stone - 01/10/1992
"...[A] moonbeam of a comedy....Lively and affecting..."
New York Times - 12/14/1990
"...Gentle if wisecracking comedy....[Ryder] is enchanting and funny..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/14/1990
"...Peppered with briskly uninhibited dialogue..."
MERMAIDS is the story of the turbulent relationship between a flamboyant, outrageous mom (Cher) and her two daughters (Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci) who just want a normal, stable life. Socially rebellious and provocative, the mother is reluctant to settle down, even at the request of her two daughters (one of whom, despite being Jewish, longs to enter a convent). The unusual family has moved 18 times in the last 15 years, usually whenever Mrs. Flax senses she might have to commit to a relationship. But this time the girls hope the family will stay put, and their conflicting desires lead to a final, near-tragic result.
Coming Of Age |
Family Interaction |
Theatrical Release: December 14, 1990 (U.S., Toronto, Can.)
Shot in Panavision; theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1.
Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom (MY LIFE AS A DOG) was the original director slated for MERMAIDS. He was replaced by Muppeteer/director Frank Oz. Oz, in turn, was replaced by Richard Benjamin, who completed the project.
The role of Charlotte initially went to British actress Emily Lloyd, who was to receive $435,000 and 2.5% of the net profits from the film. When Cher complained that the fair-haired Lloyd could not look like her daughter, she was cast out of the film and replaced by Winona Ryder. Lloyd then sued Orion Pictures Corporation and Mermaid Productions, reaching a settlement on the second day of the trial, July 30, 1991.
Casting agents Wallis Nicita and Lauren Lloyd made their producing debuts with this film.
Winona Ryder won the 1990 Best Supporting Actress Award from the National Board of Review.
Estimated budget $20 million.
Shot in Cambridge, Manchester, Essex, North Easton, Waltham, Malden, and Rockport, Massachusetts, in Technicolor.
Filming began September 25, 1989; completed December 20, 1989.
Reviewed in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on December 14, 1990.
Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Censors.