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TOM HANKS & DARYL HANNAH IN RON HOWARD'S 'SPLASH'

Title: SPLASH Year: 1983 Director: Ron Howard Rating: ****1/2

On David Letterman, John Candy got an awkward, giggling reaction from the audience when he described the plot of his upcoming movie, SPLASH, which, to most everyone's surprise, worked so perfectly it didn't seem a stretch at all...

Involving two pairs connected to Tom Hanks...the first and funniest with his older, flaky, black-sheep, scene-stealing brother Candy, passive partner of their family's fruit/vegetable company, hilariously running after any woman around (seeming like a character visiting from his own movie) while Hanks, struggling to keep the business alive and having just broken-up with his girlfriend, is both aloof and brokenhearted...

Daryl Hannah in SPLASH with The Outsiders marquee

That's until being rescued by, and then taking care of, a beautiful mermaid (set-up in the prologue and continuing with some divine underwater photography) in Daryl Hannah's Madison, turning New York City into another character... 

Because it's literally a fish-out-of-water story where the humor derives from how she, despite having a completely straight and vulnerable role, reacts to this new world while Hanks, especially in scenes with his odd couple brother, uses sharp, ironical humor even during the inevitable downturn...

John Candy and Tom Hanks in SPLASH with Eugene Levy

Which is thanks or no thanks to initial villain Eugene Levy's subplot as a mermaid-obsessed scientist, out to prove he's not crazy, leading to a rather dark military-compound final act...

Quite a bummer comparably, yet it still works since Ron Howard's previous film NIGHT SHIFT had its own farfetched (to this one's fantastical) premise: herein backed by neatly-timed dialogue and creative direction as the characters are forced to resolve what was a unique and miraculous romantic-comedy  to begin with.

Daryl Hannah in SPLASH
John Candy in SPLASH
John Candy in SPLASH with Tom Hanks
Daryl Hannah in SPLASH with Tom Hanks

Daryl Hannah in SPLASH
Daryl Hannah in SPLASH with Tom Hanks
Daryl Hannah in SPLASH
Lone Wolf McQuade and Raiders of the Lost Artk marquee in SPLASH
Tom Hanks in SPLASH
Evil Dead and XTRO marquee in SPLASH
John Candy and Tom Hanks in SPLASH
John Candy and Tom Hanks in SPLASH
Daryl Hannah in SPLASH
Daryl Hannah in SPLASH

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