Aquamarine

Aquamarine is an upbeat teen movie that was released in 2006. The story is loosely based on the novel of the same name written by Alice Hoffman. As the movie poster hints broadly, a mermaid plays a prominent part in the story.

In the film, best friends Claire and Hailey have an unhappy cloud looming over their summer because Hailey is due to move away in a few days. They wish for a way to get out of this awful situation, when the answer literally drops into swimming pool of the resort that Claire's grandparents work at. That answer takes the form of Aquamarine, a mermaid who has travelled from her sea home to prove to her father that loves exists. The two girls agree to help Aquamarine discover love, and in return Aquamarine will grant them a wish.

Aquamarine the mermaid is an updated version of the pop culture mermaid who travels on land. Unlike most of her predecessors, there is nothing tentative or awkward about Aquamarine. She is bubbly, confident and larger than life, throwing herself eagerly into the exploration of the world of humans, though she bears her aquatic heritage with pride. Aquamarine's enthusiasm and confidence is just what the shy coming-of-age girls admire, and she advocates it proudly.

In this interpretation of the mermaid, Aquamarine can only have legs when the sun is out and if she is completely dry. The mermaid tail in Aquamarine is particularly memorable because it's the first one I've seen where the fins are poseable. In most live-action productions the fins tend to be ornamental, but here you can see (most notably in the scene where Aquamarine's in the bathtub) the fins twist and curve like actual living muscle.

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