There’s no love lost between me and Tom Hanks. I’ve said it before; he’s the white version of Denzel Washington – another double Oscar winner that I’m generally apathetic towards. I have a slight prejudice for Hanks’ comedic side and in all its silliness I’m particularly fond of his work in 1984’s forgotten gem Splash. Splash is one of those films that I spent a lot of time re-watching as a child and there’s a large possibility that childhood appreciation has just poured over into young adulthood.
Splash is simple, Allen happens upon a mermaid – Madison. Madison’s mermaid characteristics show up whenever her legs touch water, when they turn to tails and scales. It doesn’t take a genius to know what Splash will end with, even if the “how” might be a slight - slight – surprise. It’s a romantic comedy in the loosest of senses, although it wouldn’t be inapt to call it a fairy tale. True, Splash has a charming screenplay on its side but it’s Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks who turn it into the pseudo-classic it is. I’ve never been greatly appreciative of Hannah’s talent, but she and Hanks are lovely together. Today, I’m balk at the idea of Hanks and Hannah in an actual film together, but 25 years ago they seem brilliant together.
It’s weird, there’s an onslaught slew of romantic comedies that are neither funny or interestingly romantic, Splash is hilarious – veering on melodrama at times, but mostly just hilarious...and really, which comedy is worse off having Eugene Levy and John Candy? None, I tell you; none. I don’t have any significant dislike for the eighties, it’s definitely not my least favourite decade, even though it’s given a bad rep. I think Splash is a good one. It's probably my favourite Ron Howard film.