35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
You won't want to throw this one back,
This review is from: Aquamarine [DVD] (DVD)
Yeah, yeah, it's basically a girls' movie, but I still enjoyed Aquamarine. As far as mermaid movies go, you don't expect to find a lot of substance, so this film came as a really nice surprise to me. Formulaic or not, this movie is all about friendship, family, overcoming your fears, and the true nature of love. It never devolves into anything silly, either, which is why I think just about anyone would enjoy spending time with Aquamarine.
Best friends Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (Joanna "JoJo" Levesque) are entering the late stages of what may be their last summer together, as Hailey and her mom are about to move all the way to Australia. There's still time for them to wallow in their mutual crush for lifeguard Raymond (Jake McDorman), comb through magazines to learn everything they can learn about boys, and just enjoy spending time together at the beach, but they can no longer pretend that Hailey won't be leaving. They both yearn for a miracle that will keep them from having to say goodbye to each other all too soon. And sure enough, a miracle turns up right at the bottom of their pool, courtesy of a powerful storm. That would be Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), the world's hottest mermaid, who has run away (actually, I guess she swam away) from home to avoid marrying a merman she cares nothing about. She has three days to prove that love actually exists - only then will her father call off the arranged wedding. Claire and Hailey, with all the knowledge of romance they have gleamed from teen magazines and Cosmo, are more than eager to help her in her quest - especially since Aquamarine has the power to grant them one wish if they succeed in helping her.
Luckily, mermaids can change their tails into legs during the daylight hours, so Claire and Hailey can easily pass Aquamarine off as a friend of theirs. They are initially disheartened when she picks Raymond to fall in love with, but friendship is thicker than schoolgirl crushes. They actually make pretty darn good romantic coaches, but the fact that Aquamarine is gorgeous also helps her catch Raymond's eye - despite her sometimes odd behavior. Even still, it's no walk in the park. Aquamarine basically goes through the whole cycle of love in three days - the whole tell-tale giddiness and confusion, the heartbreak of mixed signals and possible rejection, the first kiss, etc. - and even the jealous rage of the snobby rich girl who thinks Raymond belongs to her.
But will Raymond fall in love with Aquamarine in such a short period of time? And will the stress of it all strike a wedge between Claire and Hailey? I won't answer these questions, but I will say the film manages to tell this fanciful story with focus, integrity, and - most importantly - a lot of heart. Actual truths are learned here, as the two girls overcome some of their own personal fears and really grow as human beings as a direct result of Aquamarine's influence on their lives. Obviously, I think Aquamarine is a great film, and not just for young teenaged girls (although they will identify particularly well with the story). You don't find many wholesome, genuinely funny comedies around these days.