Rebellious-teen-drives-parents-wild has long been a staple scenario of the movies, not to mention the sitcom. It’s an overworked plot but Mermaids manages a twist: The parental role is taken by the teen, and vice versa. In this case, Cher — in a tailor-made part — is out for an irresponsible fine time until an unlikely beau (Bob Hoskins) sets her as straight as such a loopy mom can get. Daughter Charlotte (the absolute charming Winona Ryder) wants to be a nun, despite (or because of) being Jewish. She learns that you can’t keep a good hormone down, however, especially when the neighborhood convent has such a handsome caretaker (Michael Schoeffling). While all the good natured ribbing between these calculatedly nutty characters can grow fey to a fault, it can also be pleasing in a low-key way. That’s why so many were disappointed with the movie on the big screen. But it’s also what makes it quite right for the smaller scale of the TV set. B

  • Movie
  • 110 minutes