Aquamarine
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Emma Roberts, Joanna JoJo Levesque, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman. Teen comedy. Written by John Quaintance and Jessica Bendiger. Directed by Elizabeth Allen.

Following a violent storm, a beautiful and sassy mermaid named Aquamarine washes ashore and into the lives of two preteen girls. Rebelling against her domineering father who doesnt believe in love, Aquamarine has come ashore seeking to prove him wrong by finding someone with whom she can share that emotion. Naturally, her eyes fall upon the first hunky lifeguard she sees, much to the chagrin of her new young friends, who also secretly have a crush on the lifeguard. But they cant resist helping her snag him, because, as we all know, mermaids are magical, and she has promised them a wish fulfilled if they help her win the hunks heart.

In every male film critic there dwells the spirit of a thirteen-year-old girl, as well as the more widely accepted worldly cynic. Civilians may call this a form of schizophrenia, but we in the trade prefer to call it being in touch with our fellow moviegoers. How else can you explain our appreciation for a Tsotsi in one screening and the enjoyment of an Aquamarine the next? Dont misunderstand, upon exiting the theater I had no secret desire to sport a ponytail or text message classmates. I just liked the movie despite everything I learned in film-reviewing school.

Its a parable whose message concerns friendship and the discovery of the meaning of love. Put that together with adolescent insecurities that audience members either humorously relate to or cringingly remember, plus surprisingly funny dialogue and delivery, and you have an engaging film for teens and a guilty pleasure for us older folk.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Summary
Crude Language: The girls, nearing womanhood, make several comic comments concerning their newfound appreciation for boys and exasperation that theyre not as filled out as older girls. That said, theres a sweet innocence to the production and the dialogue steers clear of crudity.
Obscene Language: There is one minor expletive, Hell; bitch is heard once; at one point, the frustrated mermaid barks a twist on words, bullshark.
Profanity: In keeping with a valley girl colloquialism the girls have a tendency to utter the expression Oh my god whenever shocked, frustrated or joyous. This idiom, which refuses to go the way of nutty or groovy, is used several times by the two 12-year-old stars and their newfound aqua-friend.
Violence: A girl is pushed off a pier by a mean-spirited rival, but it sets up the scene to show the sacrifice of friendship.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: The story takes place on a beach, so there are lots of young folk in skimpy attire, but the camera does not leer at the young people.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Schoolgirl crushes lead to discussing the opposite sex, but the filmmakers are respectful of their creations and careful not to abuse the audience.
Drug Abuse: None
Other: At one point the two preteens hoping for a miracle, pray to the gods of weather to make leaving the resort area impossible. This is done comically, there is no cultish intent. That said, parents may wish to discuss why we shouldnt pray to false gods, even in jest. The film has a sweet spirit and positive life lessons.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens, mostly girls

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