Fishtales is one of those films that totally snuck in under the radar, with a story that really doesn't hold up but featuring gorgeous visuals that should put it in the top tier of live-action mermaids.
A bumbling professor named Thomas Bradley is working on a super difficult thesis on ancient love spells. He's hit with a bit of a writer's block, so one of his colleagues offers his house on the Greek island of Spetses, where Thomas can stay while he finishes his work. Thomas brings his daughter Serena there, and it's obvious from the get-go that Thomas suffers from severe social awkwardness, and it is Serena who has to take care of him.
While they're there, Serena encounters a mermaid named Neried (Kelly Brook) who happens to have a very distracting English accent. A friendship is formed, and Serena gets it into her head to matchmake Neried with Thomas. As a side plot, a fisherman named Captain Mavros is out to catch Neried because her tail is encrusted with jewels.
The strangely-concocted plot has threads that don't get resolved (eg. the mystery of Neried's cross-breed origins) and scenes that don't go anywhere, but really, the plot itself feels more like a convenient excuse to film the Kelly Brook stunning it up as a mermaid, making swimming in an elongated tail look effortless, elegant, and perfectly at home in the underwater beauty of the Grecian sea. There was plenty of care in the design of the tail, too, which is unusual in its length and embellishments.
Many thanks to Eric, who told me about this movie!
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