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Mermaids Review

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A daughter, torn between becoming a nun and her feelings for a handsome boy, attempts to resolve her differences with her flirtatiuos mother.

★★★★★

One of the choicest titbits in this so-so but cute mother-daughter comedy-drama comes over the end credits when Cher, coming off a wonderfully employed early 60s soundtrack that ranges from Dominique to Blame It On The Bossa Nova, finally gives voice herself with The Shoop Shoop Song.

She also looks utterly fabulous throughout as Mrs. Flax, small town floozie and crazy mixed-up single mom, wiggling around in backless stillettoes, breath-defying pedal pushers and teased hair - to the mortification of Winona Ryder's Charlotte, her equally confused daughter, who's Jewish but wants to be a nun until she observes the neighbouring convent's muscle-bound handy man.

Meanwhile, Bob Hoskins's Lou Landsky, while no oil painting, is the perfect man - he's nice, he's g.i.b., he cooks and, be still my heart, he owns a shoe store - who yearns to squeeze La Flax into more responsible, kitchen-friendly ways.

Set nicely in 1963, this coming-of-age two-hander for Cher and Ryder has its sweet, eccentrically funny amusements in the parent and teenager tug-of-war, not to mention Mrs. Flax's odd notions as to what constitutes dinner. Where it goes well off key into the strains of American TV domestic drama, however, is when "near tragedy" brings the conflicts to a head.

All three leads are genuinely appealing here, with Ryder once again acting her bobby sox off and giving yet further reminder of just how sorely she was missed in Godfather III.