It is said that everyone has a soul mate, someone with whom they are destined to fall in love and be with for the rest of their lives, regardless of age, gender, geography......or, it seems, species.Splash is a 1984 romantic comedy directed by Ron Howard, surrounding the fairy-tale romance between Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks) and the mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who rescued him from drowning as a boy. Allen grew to adulthood, believing the young mermaid he saw in the water was only a hallucination, until she again saves him from drowning - but in doing so appears on the radar of Dr. Walter Kornbluth, an eccentric scientist who wants to prove the existence of mythical creatures like mermaids.The mermaid seeks him out on land (she develops legs when her tail is dry), coming ashore on Liberty Island to track him down with information from his wallet, dropped during his latest dip in the ocean. As she has no concept of clothing, she is arrested for indecent exposure, and the cops release her into Allen's custody, based on the wallet she carries. But Kornbluth is hot on her trail, and he has scientific pursuits in mind for her...Can these star-crossed lovers find romance? Can she convince Allen that his series of failed romances are just destiny knocking him on the head? What will their kids look like?The film was followed by a TV movie sequel which recast all the lead parts and, despite a good performance by Amy Yasbeck as the replacement Madison, fell squarely into garbage territory.Splash was the first movie released by Disney under the Touchstone Pictures label (then known as "Touchstone Films").
"Allen Bauer thought he'd never find the right trope. He was only half wrong.":
Apparently Human Merfolk: What Allen becomes at the end of the first movie, no tail like Madison but he can now breathe underwater
Kornbluth is arguably more of a Woobie given his backstory and Heel-Face Turn.
Calling Your Brother Out/What the Hell, Hero?/Dumbass Has a Point: Allen was mortified and angry when he finds out Madison, the one person he has come to love, is a mermaid. He starts rambling about how "people fall in love every day", and he ends up with (in his word) a "fish". However, his Plucky Comic Relief brother Freddie berates him for giving up on Madison, tells him that "people fall in love every day" is nonsense, and people can never be as happy as Allen felt when he was with Madison.
Allen: People fall in love every day, and look what I got.
Freddie: People fall in love every day, is that what you said? Yeah? Well, that's a crock. It doesn't work that way. Some people will never be that happy! I'll never be that happy!
Kornbluth also calls out the other scientists, especially Ross, for performing experiments on a non-consenting person, and planning to dissect her.
The Cast Show Off: The mermaid tail Daryl Hannah wore was fully functional. The showoff part is that, ironically enough, Hannah had learned to swim mermaid style (legs together) since childhood since she was facinated by the story of The Little Mermaid. As a result, with the tail, she swam so fast, the safety divers couldn't keep up.
Cerebus Syndrome: The movie starts out as a fairly light-hearted romance film. Then it gets a lot more serious when Madison's secret is exposed and she's taken prisoner by the government, endangering her life.
Cloudcuckoolander: Allen and Freddy's secretary, who was hit in the head with lightning.
Loveable Sex Maniac: Freddy, who has been married countless times (even bringing a date to one of his own weddings), writes letters to Penthouse and will pick up multiple women in one night. However, he's still our Plucky Comic Relief who believes in true love.
Misplaced Vegetation: Madison is supposed to be swimming around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The problem is that she swims past coral reefs, and there are no coral reefs near Cape Cod since the water is too cold. Those scenes were actually filmed in The Bahamas.
My God, What Have I Done?: Dr. Kornbluth, when he learns they're going to kill the mermaid. All he wanted was to show people he's not crazy.
My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When Dr. Kornbluth tries to pass off Allen and Freddie as visiting Swedish scientists to get them into the research facility where Madison is being held, a suspicious guard asks Allen and Freddie in Swedish, "What are two Swedish scientists doing so far from Sweden?" The guard jovially allows them entry after Freddie tentatively responds in Swedish, "Hey, babe! I got a twelve inch penis." Freddie later explains that he picked up some Swedish phrases from watching hundreds of hours of Swedish pornography.
Naked First Impression: Madison being nude on the beach when Allen sees her in adult human form for the first time.
Naked on Arrival: Madison has no clothes when she transforms into human form so her first encounters on the beach with Allen and outside the Statue of Liberty have her naked.
Our Mermaids Are Different: In an earlier drafts, a sea hag tells the mermaid that she can only stay on land for six days to find her human lover, and she must wet her tail every day. The finished product simplifies things by ruling that wet=tail, and dry=legs.
This subplot makes sense, since Madison has to return to sea after six days or she "can never come back" and why Allen can't return to land.
They Would Cut You Up: One of the impending examinations when Madison is rescued is implied to be dissection, or possibly even vivisection.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Allen starts acting this way over Madison's strange behavior and her reluctance to marry him. Then he starts being sarcastic towards her, which upsets her and she runs away for a while. Allen regrets acting that way. But this gives Madison some time for consideration of whether or not to stay with him.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Freddy was last seen about to be arrested by the feds. If he goes to prison, and Allen never comes back, who's going to run the company?
Your Universe or Mine?: When Madison must go back to the ocean, she tells Allen that he can go with her, but he will never be able to return to land. It is never explained why, perhaps it may have to do with the sea hag subplot. Still, he was reluctant at first but accepts readily after saving her from government frogmen.
It's somewhat a Bittersweet Ending. The bitter part is Allen will never see his brother, friends, or even Kornbluth again. The sweet part is being with Madison always.
Whitewashed in the sequel, as Madison reveals that she was just kidding and that it's actually perfectly okay for them to go back to land.
It's possible it was a test question, how much would a human be willing to give up for his aquatic lover? Once Madison realized Allen was really going to stay with her, it was safe to tell him the truth.