Before there was Disney’s iconic The Little Mermaid, there was Splash. A film from the 80s that is as charming as I’m sure it is nostalgic for many.

Splash (1984) Film Review

He’s been missing something his whole life, and yet, Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks) is afraid of this important thing, love. Busy running the family business, Allen’s girlfriend is leaving him and though he wants love, he just doesn’t seem able to easily express or feel it. Into this mess walks Madison (Daryl Hannah), a beautiful and mysterious woman. Inexplicably, both are drawn to each other, and though Allen has no idea who she is, the pair engage in an instantaneous and impulsive love affair.

As their week together becomes a waltz of magical moments, Allen finds he may finally find what he’s been missing, but it’s Madison’s secret that may change them both forever.


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This is a film that I had never seen before. With its fortieth anniversary this year I finally remedied this and did find a film that’s actually pretty cute. Likely also a flick that inspired Disney with their 1989 animated movie and later the teen flick Aquamarine, Splash is a fun story that probably offends modern audiences. I think, for the most part, it’s something easy to still enjoy today even with the production being dated.

While I don’t love when romantic comedies do the whole one-look-and-we’re-in-love thing, I think for the most part, this one has fun with it. As a result, I don’t think we need to take something like this so seriously. Plus, it’s a contemporary film, yes, but it plays (obviously) with fairytale elements so it’s okay to have a more relaxed approach. Plus, I think in general, it’s fair to allow this genre some latitude to have fun with their stories. The classic romantic comedy movies aren’t meant to be deep (at least in my rulebook they don’t have to be) but rather to make us laugh and leave us feeling happy by the time credit’s role. Splash, mostly, does this.

I’m not entirely sure I adore the end, but it’s not because it’s sad, it’s just that I don’t really find it works. Regardless of this, I do enjoy this film, much to my surprise. I think it may actually be one of the rare films that I really do like Tom Hanks in, and while the rest of the cast I’m not in love with, they all play their roles just fine. Funny guy Eugene Levy even has a role in this, too.

Cute and nostalgic for those of us who love 90s and 80s cinema, Splash is memorable.

You can stream Splash, at publication, with Hulu or Disney+; or purchase on Apple TV+ or Prime


‘SPLASH’ IS AN 80s FLICK WITH CHARM AND NOSTALGIA. A review of the classic Tom Hanks comedy. All text is © Rissi JC

Content: there’s some innuendo, including the implication that characters are intimate almost right after meeting. A woman stays with a man. We see shots of her naked from the back and she walks around in the nude more than once. There may be some minor profanity. The film is PG.

Photos: Touchstone Pictures

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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