December 14th, 1990



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Still of Cher and Bob Hoskins in MermaidsStill of Cher and Bob Hoskins in MermaidsStill of Cher and Bob Hoskins in MermaidsStill of Winona Ryder and Cher in MermaidsStill of Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder and Cher in MermaidsStill of Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder and Cher in Mermaids

An unconventional single mother relocates with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 6.4/10 (12,338 voted)

Director: Richard Benjamin

Stars: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder

After yet another failed relationship, Mrs. Flax (Cher) ups her family to the east coast to start all over again. Reluctantly dragged along with her is her daughter Charlotte - going through a very confusing time of her life - who wants to become a nun, and instead falls in love with a quiet, mild-mannered church employee, to the mixed response of her mother. Set at around the time of the Kennedy Assassination.

Writers: Patty Dann, June Roberts

Cher - Mrs. Flax
Bob Hoskins - Lou Landsky
Winona Ryder - Charlotte Flax
Michael Schoeffling - Joe
Christina Ricci - Kate Flax
Caroline McWilliams - Carrie
Jan Miner - Mother Superior
Betsy Townsend - Mary O'Brien
Richard McElvain - Mr. Crain
Paula Plum - Mrs. Crain
Dossy Peabody - Coach Parker
William Paul Steele - Boss in Oklahoma
Rex Trailer - Dr. Reynolds
Pete Kovner - Perfect Family Father
Patricia Madden - Perfect Family Mother

Taglines: This is our mother. Pray for us.

Release Date: 14 December 1990

Filming Locations: Big Lake, Texas, USA

Opening Weekend: $3,514,678 (USA) (16 December 1990) (920 Screens)

Gross: $35,419,397 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Ontario - edited version)

Did You Know?

In the scene where Charlotte and her mother fight about Kate's accident, Charlotte gets angry and breaks a plate. The scene ends with her mother slapping her in the face after a rude comment. The exact same things happened in Cher's film Mask.

Continuity: Charlotte's blue eye shadow disappears and reappears as she goes to/returns from the hospital.

Charlotte Flax: I'm going to make real sandwiches; big ones that a man can sink his teeth into.

User Review

A magic potion!

Rating: 10/10

A delightful period piece set appropriately in 1963. Appropriate because Charlotte (Wynona Ryder), like the nation, is about to shed a little of her innocence and face some difficult realities. Cher, Ryder and an adorably young Christina Ricci are perfect as a single parent family. Cher, in her best work ever, including Moonstruck, is a free-spirited mom who only cooks finger food because anything else is too much of a commitment. Ryder, who narrates the film from her character's perspective, is a high school student who, despite her fervent wish to lead a devout life, falls in love with the local handyman. Ricci is the youngest, a champion swimmer who steals the whole movie with scenes like her pumpkin scene. (Watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about. It's unforgettable.) Bob Hoskins is hilarious as the shoe salesman who falls head over heels for Cher, family and all.

Set in coastal Massachusetts, the scenery is breathtaking, and the idyllic depiction of life in a small town in the last days of American innocence is dead on. Director Richard Benjamin, who also gave us such charming films as Milk Money and My Stepmother is an Alien, rivals Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner with this gem.

This film is perfection, an absolute 10. It's a magic potion that can make me laugh and feel good even on the worst day. I sometimes wish I could step inside a la Pleasantville and stay there.


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