film review ..: What...s That Smell? Oh, It...s ...Aquamarine...
Teeny-Bopper Movie a Bland Story We...ve All Heard Before
By Alice Macdonald
Directed by Elizabeth Allen
Written by John Quaintance
and Jessica Bendinger
Starring Emma Roberts,
Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque, and Sara Paxton
20th Century Fox
Like, oh my God! Did you see the movie about the mermaid? Her hair was, like, so pretty! Unless you are a twelve-year-old girl, statements like this probably make you want to hit someone. So, for all you non-prepubescent girls out there, don’t see “Aquamarine,” whose best scene is a montage of girls at a shopping mall.
After I saw this latest attempt at milking the preteen market, I had to take a shower to try to cleanse myself of its crappiness. There are simply very few redeeming qualities to this movie. The two young heroines are Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque), who live in Florida, spend their days pining over boys out of their league, and are totally BFF. You may recognize Emma Roberts from her appropriately titled Nickelodeon show, “Unfabulous.” Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque is best known as a wannabe pop star, with almost-hits such as “Leave (Get Out).” The girls’ mermaid gal pal, Aquamarine, is played by Sara Paxton, who is stunningly beautiful, but in a “white trash”-y way. She has long blond hair with blue highlights and spends most of the film wearing a teeny minidress fashioned from a tee shirt. These actresses continue their downward spiral into nothingness with this flick, which will probably guarantee the end of their careers before any of them even lose their virginity.
There isn’t really much point in explaining the basic plot, because it will probably sound very familiar — it is one giant clich after another. I feel like I have seen this movie at least twice before. Here it goes: Hailey has to move to Australia, but wants to stay in Florida. The only chance she has to remain is afforded her when a mermaid miraculously washes into her pool. The deal is that if the girls help Aquamarine prove to her father that true love exists by getting hunky Raymond to fall in love with her in three days, she will grant them one wish. This shouldn’t be that hard, as Aqua and Raymond are perfect for each other: they are blond, dumb as rocks, and beautiful. Along the way the girls face obstacles such as a fear of water, trivial arguments, and a mean slutty girl who is also after Raymond. Thankfully, they are helped by talking starfish, dolphins, and creepy old dudes. Any attempts at humor are painfully unsuccessful, and the majority of the jokes had been done before. The only novel joke for me was the unfortunate pun, “Call me on my shell!”
“Mean Girls” (2004) and “The Princess Diaries” (2001) show that movies enjoyed by preteens can actually have some redeeming qualities. Notably, these films actually have some genuinely funny writing and heartwarming moments. My question is: why are we still subjected to films like “Aquamarine”? Though the film might be enjoyable for the younger portion of its target audience, who perhaps haven’t already seen the plot three times already on the Disney channel, I am still doubtful of the appeal of “Aquamarine.” When I saw the movie, it became evident that no one was buying it when I overheard a young viewer say, “She looks mad ugly” and watched others squirm and look at their watches. Save yourself the anguish and see something else. At least “Big Momma’s House 2” might be funny.