'Aquamarine'

Mean Girls meets Splash in this comedy about two 13-year-olds who befriend a runaway mermaid (Sara Paxton). She has three days to find true love on land before having to return home and marry her father's choice. The film's true focus is the friendship between the two girls (Emma Roberts and Joanna "JoJo" Levesque), although this tends to get lost between Elizabeth Allen's jittery direction and the screenplay's contrivances. The girls seem too grounded to be the bubbleheaded consumers the film presents them as. And "Just be yourself—minus the tail," as JoJo puts it, is odd advice for Aquamarine's 'tween audience, whose own defining characteristics are so vulnerable to the pressures of conformity. This movie, in fact, is all about conformity.

 
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