Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy
Written by: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Bruce Jay Friedman, based on a story by Brian Grazer, Bruce Jay Friedman
Directed by: Ron Howard
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 111
Date: 03/09/1984

Splash (1984)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Mermaid to Order

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's hard to believe how loose and rangy Tom Hanks used to be. He was clearly likeable, but what's astonishing is his how reckless he used to be, unlike his carefully controlled "serious" roles that rely more on funny accents than anything else. In Splash, his emotions fly all over the map, and he very successfully conveys an unlikely character who "can't feel love." That is, until his soulmate walks into his life -- or, rather, swims. She's a beautiful blond mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who comes to Manhattan to be with him, complicating his already complicated life. Hannah does wonders with her thankless job, flitting tiny moments of joy and confusion across her face. This was Ron Howard's second film, and it's a serviceable job, doing what he can with the rather mechanical script by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandell. It's really Hanks, Hannah and a raucous performance by John Candy that make Splash come to life.

DVD Details: Touchstone has released a new 20th anniversary DVD, complete with a 24-minute "making-of" documentary and a commentary track by director Howard, and writers Ganz and Mandel. Fans will enjoy the old audition footage by both Hanks and Hannah. The movie also comes with an optional French language track and optional Spanish subtitles.

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