2006, PG, 109 min. Directed by Elizabeth Allen. Starring Emma Roberts, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman, Arielle Kebbel.

REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., March 3, 2006

Omigod, you guys! I just saw, like, the cutest movie! It’s based on a YA novel by Alice Hoffman, and it’s about these two total best friends who meet up with … a mermaid! They take her shopping, and they all get streaks in their hair, and they totally help her fall in love with this lifeguard who is really fine and never wears a shirt, okay? But you know what? Like, if you read a review of this movie in the newspaper, that person would, like, totally hate it. Because critics aren’t supposed to like movies with shopping mermaids and stuff. If there’s a makeover scene, they walk out, right? Even though this mermaid (Paxton) is really nice, and she’s like a cool big sister, only she has a tail in the water, but she can totally take a sweatshirt and turn it into a halter minidress, and she even takes Claire (Roberts, niece of Julia if that matters) and Hailey (Levesque) to the weirdest place – a vintage store. And while I don’t want to give the ending away, it turns out that the whole movie isn’t even about getting a cute boy to notice you; it’s about friendships between young women and how that’s more important than anything. You know those magazines, like Cosmo Girl, that are all about how you’re supposed to be coy but not aloof and available but not scary, and it makes being a girl into some impossible paradox of weird stuff that nobody can actually do? The movie totally makes fun of that. Oh, and this mermaid can summon dolphins. I know! If my mom saw this movie, she would think it was so goofy. But for what it is, I think it’s pretty okay. It’s not going to win an Oscar or anything. But I liked how it was actually made for tween girls. We never get any movies, and we’re totally growing up too fast anyway. Nobody over the age of 13 would like this movie, but so what? Is being a girl a bad thing? Like, everybody knows what it feels like to have your best friend move away and to feel really, really sad because your parents drowned in a boating accident and you have to live with your grandparents on their beach resort and you don’t have any friends because you live in Florida and everybody is so beautiful and rich and stupid like that mean girl Cecilia (Kebbel), whose dad is the weatherman. I mean, who said that’s any dumber than any of the kazillion movies made for teenage boys? You really have to ask yourself, “Okay, is this better or worse than that The Dukes of Hazzard movie?” Because at least this movie has a message for girls besides, like, “If you want something from boys, wear a bikini under a raincoat and act really stupid.” Can you believe Jessica Simpson was almost in this movie? Like, she doesn’t even know what tuna is. I’m so sure she could play a fish.

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More Elizabeth Allen Films
Ramona and Beezus
Beverly Cleary's beloved Ramona Quimby makes a pleasing leap to the big screen with this adaptation.

Kimberley Jones, July 30, 2010

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
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July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007


Aquamarine, Elizabeth Allen, Emma Roberts, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman, Arielle Kebbel

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