I was in high school the first time I saw the 1984 movie Splash, and I hadn't seen it again until I rented the DVD the other night. I remember liking it a lot when I saw it back in the 1980s, thinking it was a sweet film and about as close to a screwball comedy as you might get at that time. It's been more than 20 years, and I was interested to see if I still enjoyed the film and if it held up well. Splash is still entertaining, but I'm not as delighted with the film as I was back in my teen years. Admittedly, I feel this way about a lot of 1980s comedies, with a few notable exceptions (The Blues Brothers). The style of humor doesn't seem to work quite as well, either because I'm too old or because American comedy has changed in certain ways.

I probably don't have to recount the plot, but in case you forgot, Splash is about an unlucky-in-love average guy from New York (Tom Hanks) who encounters a wonderful woman new to NYC who turns out to be a mermaid (Daryl Hannah). Like most romantic-comedy heroines with secrets, she doesn't tell him about the mermaid thing until it's too late, and while he's madly in love, he's a little confused by her amazing speed in learning English, her odd dining habits, and so forth. Meanwhile, a nerdy scientist (Eugene Levy) has figured out that "Madison" (yes, this movie probably started the trend of naming babies after streets and other geographical locations) is a mermaid, and is determined to find concrete proof. The movie was directed by Ron Howard, and was the breakout film for himself as well as Hanks and Hannah.