Yesterday I opened my roommate's Entertainment Weekly and learned, a little late in the game as apparently the news has been out for about a week, that Brian Grazer is involved in a re-make of Splash, the 1984 rom-com he produced and developed about a naive mermaid and a lonely New Yorker.  And according to Grazer, the preparations are very hush-hush and he can't talk about it much at all.  He did say there "is a star involved" and that they are inspired more by the original concept of the movie when it was still titled-- get ready for it- Wet.  Oh, and one more thing!  There's a twist to this version, as it's more from "the perspective of..." and this is where Grazer truly hushed up.

Now, Splash is one of my favorite films from my childhood years.  I saw it thirty four times before I stopped counting, and Daryl Hannah was my first childhood crush (unless you count the confusing tingling that happened every time Tommy from Alice walked into Mel's Diner).  I collected every article she appeared in... her cover feature in Rolling Stone?  It went into the Daryl Hannah scrapbook.

The article from People? Into the scrapbook.

Everywhere she was, I sought her out.  And for awhile, she was EVERYWHERE.  Clan Of The Cave Bear, Blade Runner, Reckless  (that last one I had to wait a while to see because it was a relatively filthy romance about "reckless" teen love against all odds).

But it was more than just Daryl Hannah  that won me over.  II already had a mermaid obsession, and the film itself is such a charming, quirky, uniquely eighties comedy.  It has a combination of comedic talents that I can't imagine them finding again.  Tom Hanks?  John Candy?  Eugene Levy?  Dodie Goodman??? And it's such a hopeful film.  Stories of mermaids and mortals up to that point, had all ended in tragedy.  SPOILER ALERT:  The fact that this one ends in such a sweet and wonderful way, with the man for once leaving everything behind for love-  It got me.  

Today, it's pretty easy to forget what a massive hit it was during its initial release.  It was one of the top ten grossing films of the year, the inspiration for a number of supernatural rom-coms like Date With An Angel, and Daryl Hannah's High Spirits, and "spawned" a sequel (which fell through when Tom Hanks couldn't do it and became a T.V. movie). And the film's ironic joke of naming the mermaid after Madison Avenue caused the name Madison to be one of the most popular names for girls in the early 21st century.  In fact, Disney's Ariel was originally a blond, but they made her a redhead in order to differentiate her from Madison.  

So, I love the film.  But I am not upset about this remake.  This new film will not ruin the impact of the original, and I think art inspired by art is an amazing thing.  Yes, I am tired of re-makes in general because in so many cases they seem like a money grab rather than a creative endeavor, and the success of the new Splash will largely depend on whether or not they can make a different kind of magic and tell a different story, that really needs to be told, and is not different just for the sake of being different. 

Which leads me to this twist that Grazer hinted at.  "the perspective of..."What?  The perspective of the mermaid?  I mean, the beautiful thing about the original is that it split the stories perspective.  It was about both of them.  Yes, Alan Bauer is the protagonist, but the movie is just as much about the sacrifices she is willing to make.  And if you tell it completely from her perspective, you get a modern day "Little Mermaid" (the Disney version with the happy ending where she doesn't get rejected by the man she sacrificed everything for and then turns into sea foam/a water spirit).

There is speculation that it will be gender switched, and about a merman, rather than a mermaid, which could frankly be a lot of fun.  Of course, then you have to deal with a lot of gender politics because the original was actually a bit unusual in that it's a story about a man giving up on the ideas of the "perfect" woman and opening himself up to real, messy love in which you are equal partners.  Having a story about a woman who's life is changed by the appearance of a merman, whom she then alters her entire existence to be with? Blah.  Been there.  Hate the message.

Regardless of how the film ultimately turns out, I'll be watching and reading to see how the story develops.