Plot: What’s it about?
The end of summer is always a bad time for those still in school, but this year, the summer’s end is worse than ever for two young friends. Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (Jojo) are best friends, inseparable and they never want to be without each other. But that is soon to change, but not of their own accord, as Hailey’s family is about to move. Not just around the corner or across the state either, instead Hailey’s family is headed halfway across the world. So even infrequent visits seem unlikely, leaving the two friends with a short amount of time to cherish their relationship. But they haven’t given up hope, as they wish for a miracle to happen and save them, so they can remain friends forever. A miracle seems like a longshot, but when a beautiful mermaid washes up on in the club’s pool, the girls have their miracle. Her name is Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and she has arrived in search of true love, with the promise of granted wishes if the girls can help her. The target of her affections is found soon, but the road to romance won’t be a smooth one. With the resident mean chick trying to foil their plans, can the friends make love blossom and get their wishes granted?
I think we’ve all seen Splash and I admit, when I saw the previews for Aquamarine, I assumed it would be a retooled remake. In the end, it is hard to deny that Splash influenced this movie, but Aquamarine is more focused on youthful fun and romance. This one is aimed at teens and young adults, a family friendly romance that is all about a hot mermaid who wants some love. The good part of the hip, young approach is that the movie is a lot of fun, very sweet and appropriate for family audiences. The comedy is light and the romance even lighter, just a harmless movie that delivers moderate entertainment. The down side is that the plot is predictable and is way too safe at times, in order to ensure no offended parents. This impacts the romance of course, as sensuality is all but absent, but also character motivations and such. But even within these limitations, Aquamarine is cute and brisk enough to remain fun. I have a soft spot for movies like this, ones that are so sweet and innocent, they defy logic and come off as almost campish. Aquamarine is a fun movie that is well worth a look for those interested in family friendly entertainment, so check it out.
Video: How does it look?
Aquamarine is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen. While this treatment is superior to the DVD version, the visuals aren’t that impressive. You’ll notice enhanced fine detail, but the image never pops like the best high definition transfers do. Even so, it is nice to have the added visual depth, as well as brighter, richer colors. The contrast seems accurate and consistent as well, so no real problems on that front. I was hoping for a more remarkable presentation in terms of stunning detail and depth, but this is still a worthwhile upgrade over the DVD.
Audio: How does it sound?
This DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack builds on the base of the effective DVD audio, upping the overall quality on all fronts. The audio is a little conservative at the start, but once things start to roll, the surrounds kick in and drive home a great experience. I was really impressed with the dynamic presence here, as the surrounds see a ton of action and really provide an immersive environment. The musical score also comes across in fine form, very full and expansive here at all times. No issues with dialogue either, which sounds crisp, clean, and well balanced throughout. This movie might not seem like an audio dynamo, but the soundtrack delivers a rich, active presence throughout the film’s duration.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Elizabeth Allen’s director’s commentary is decent, but this is a lot of “it was great to work with…” and “so and so was really great” and I am not a fan of that approach. There is some behind the scenes info, but by and large, just praise for various cast and crew members. An assortment of cast members also provide comments, but only for select sequences. If they couldn’t be bothered to record a full length session, I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the scene specific comments. This disc also includes audition tapes, deleted scenes, and a couple of behind the scenes featurettes