Where I watched It: Disney Plus
English Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe
Narrated By: Laura Post
The last time Splash was made relevant to me was when film nerds who caught the opening of Disney Plus looked at all the offerings and said “Splash. That will be my first watch.” And then they noticed that Disney blurred out the nudity, and there was some minor internet outrage.
I’m anti-censorship, but I’m also anti-watching a movie for the nudity. So, if you pervs cued up Splash only to see Daryl Hannah’s brief nudity, that’s what Pornhub is for. Not an actual film like Splash, with real actors, a budget, and a plot structure. Go be weird somewhere else.
Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t see the nudity anyway that the concept just escapes me, but even when i could see. I wasn’t looking for films just for that reason. There might have been a hot minute when I was going through puberty, and that kind of thing seemed important. I’ll cop to seeing Showgirls for the first time through a barely scrambled premium cable channel. I remember, it wasn’t a free weekend, nor was it something I subscribed to, but the premium channels, at least for me, were at times sort of watchable as the scrambling wasn’t severe, and only minor. It would be like watching a really worn VHS tape today. Slightly grainy footage.
Somewhere in this era, I likely flipped through some channels and watched a few minutes of Splash, because I remembered certain scenes, but most of this film felt new to me. I went into this film actually believing this would be my first viewing, but had this feeling sporadically that I had seen this particular scene before. Then it would be followed by something I didn’t recognize.
So, I tried to enjoy Splash in all it’s 80’s glory, with brand new audio description from Laura Post, against a soundtrack that has not been preserved, and contains some hilariously terrible thunder sound effects. Tom Hanks made a ton of films where he played a character just like this. Affable, relatable, and ready for love. It’s no wonder he’s such an iconic film star.
I was watching him try and break down a bathroom door, which in my 2022 mentality had me concerned about violating Daryl Hannah’s privacy, but Hanks pulls off with his genuine kindness that you believe he’s not doing it for any other reason than true concern. It’s misplaced, of course, but it was me telling my Me Too brain that this scene, while problematic, is OK because somehow no matter what Tom hanks seems to partake in, he’s still the guy you always want to win. If you need someone to hold your baby, there’s something comforting about his characters that would give you the idea that he’d be great with babies. He’s had a terrible time even attempting to play a villain because audiences don’t buy it. No one wants to see Tom Hanks as a serial killer.
Splash was a nice trip down 80’s lane. i got to watch another John Candy performance, an actor I love dearly who left us too soon. There’s early Eugene Levy, and a beginning Daryl Hannah, an actress who never really got her due, and seems to ahve totally faded away. Ron Howard’s Splash might be a literal fish out of water story, but somehow the film itself felt out of place on Disney Plus. I appreciate the service expanding its offerings to titles like this, but it doesn’t feel like a Disney film, even if it does feature a mermaid walking on land with a limited amount of time to find her man.
Should you watch Splash? I don’t think it’s a true blue classic. i do think it has managed to survive the passage of time in ways many films never do. It’s a film that falls short of being an essential, but it remains around for anyone truly interested.
Final Grade: B