S is for Splash [A2Z]

Splash is a fun, fantasy romcom starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah in the lead romantic roles, and it also has the ever-hilarious John Candy (RIP) and Eugene Levy. The movie was directed by Ron Howard. Tom Hanks has done a lot of comedy, and also many serious roles too, but I like him best as the good guy in a romcom. We’ll be seeing him again toward the end of the alphabet.

What’s interesting to me about the plot of Splash and so many of these romcoms and romance novels too is that one or both of the protagonists are absolutely sure of what they want, and don’t want, in a life partner. This is just like real life, especially now in the age of dating sites when we have our lists of must-haves and can’t-stands. We know the kind of person we’re attracted to and have a hazy picture of him or her in our mind already before we’ve even spoken to anyone. We kinda know how tall they should be, their age, their body shape, their political positions, their hobbies, what music and movies they enjoy, how much money they have, what kind of traveler they are, their feelings on kids and pets, and most importantly exactly how many miles away they live. Someone might be perfect, but we don’t want to drive more than 27 minutes to date them. God forbid.

In real life, and in fiction, we treat people like objects, to be examined for flaws and then rejected in the endless quest for a better one. But in fiction what happens is that the situations are contrived so that the protagonists are forced to spend time with each other. During this time, they realize that their preconceived ideas of what makes a perfect partner are wrong and that this other person, who seemed like “a bad match” on paper because s/he didn’t fit into the checkboxes, is actually the right one for them.

Dialogue between the brothers in Splash:

Allen: I don’t understand. All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone and when I find her, she’s… she’s a fish.

Freddie: Nobody said love’s perfect.

Allen: Oh, Freddie, I don’t expect it to be perfect! But for God’s sake, it’s usually human! Every day, people meet, they fall in love, every day! And look at what I got.

[…]

Freddie: Yeah? Well, that’s a crock. It doesn’t work that way. Look, do you at least realize how happy you were with her? That is, of course, when you weren’t driving yourself crazy. Every day? Come on. Some people will never be that happy. I’ll never be that happy!

So, this is why I like the fantasy stories with the guaranteed happy endings, unlike real life where fussy people end up alone.

14 responses to “S is for Splash [A2Z]

  1. This was on television recently. I didn’t have time to watch the whole film, but I watched some of it while I was doing my ironing. I forgot how great a movie it is.

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  2. It was a great movie and John Candy’s character was perfect. As to Tom Hanks in the leading role in a romcom, my very, very favorite is Big….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. this movie brought back memories 🙂 nice pick to explain your thoughts. when my wife and i met, we knew right off the bat what we both wanted in a life partner and here we are 11+ years later still very happy. we both have lived all over the world, grew up on different sides of the planet and had most of the same friends all of our lives. very interesting how it all worked out. thanks for sharing my friend and yes rest in peace john candy.

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  4. Daryl Hannah makes a nice mermaid.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A good film. I remember it well. The sequel just didn’t work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a really fun movie. I like when she starts that high pitch screaming and breaks all the TVs! haha! 🙂

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  7. Well, I think you remember some of the details of my “lurve” story. If not, the really salient one here is that I told Craig that he was “too good to be true” and over the 30+ years we’ve been together, I have discovered some of the parts of him that are/were not (too) good, as he has discovered mine. We started that conversation after a really big one of those not so good parts nearly caused our marriage to fall apart. We got through that one and many smaller ones since. Recently, though, he has owned up to being verbally abusive to me. I wouldn’t exactly argue that point with him, but, as I’ve said many times, in any relationship (but especially something like marriage) you must figure out what you absolutely cannot accept about the other party and consider the rest to be negotiable. I think that’s part of the reason we’ve lasted this long. We’re still negotiating, and for much of that time, I guess I’ve acted on the mantra that Craig’s actions spoke louder than his words. Your thoughts here reflect yet another reason I’m glad I’m not dating now. I don’t think I could come up with much of a list of must haves, especially given the fact that Craig does not have most of what I might have included on it!

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    • That’s really interesting, Sue. I’ve noticed that some of my divorced friends, including me, are so picky about what they want and don’t want in a potential partner that they pretty much rule out everyone on the planet, which may be their subconscious intention! I mean, does it really matter what type of music/food/hobbies? Must we be each other’s clones? My parents had separate interests, argued a lot, but they were together 50 years and loved each other. They said they were happy. It didn’t seem like the kind of “blissful” fantasy type happiness we all seek now though… the kind no one is going to find and sustain. Oh well 🙂

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