Aquamarine's screenwriters must have strong left-hand middle fingers, having given said digit quite a keyboard workout striking the letter "e" so often while producing dialogue like this:

Claire: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Hailey: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Aquamarine: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

There hasn't been this much dolphin-pitched squealing on the big screen since that ill-fated Flipper movie that Elijah Wood would probably like to forget. The mere glimpse of a cute boy gets these girls' hormones flowing so fast they can do nothing but screech high-pitched expressions of pubescent joy that could give Mariah Carey a run for her money.

This is naught but a plastic, bubbly reworking of the mermaid legend that goes like this: Two best friends about to be separated by a move find a lost mermaid, named Aquamarine, who wants to find love. The girls try to hook the mermaid up with the hottest lifeguard on the beach, hoping the favor will win them a wish that could preserve their friendship.

The allure of the girl-power, BFF (best friends forever!) sentiment could have been moving — for a 10-year-old. But by age 13, however, most girls would need a barf bag, especially when the Barbie-built Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) squeaks, "I love vintage!" during a resale-shopping montage meant to lend the film a "dare to be you" message.

The script is replete with as many nautical clichés as shrieks. The teen mermaid uses words like "barnacles" to cuss, and she makes calls on — seriously — a "shell" phone. Talk about Velveeta with a side of Kraft dinner.

Worse yet, Aquamarine builds a teen fantasy world based not just on the myth that mermaids exist, but that any ill can be overcome with a cute boy, teen magazine advice quizzes and a quick trip to the mall. Gag me with Neptune's trident.

Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.