Summer is drawing to a close at the Capri Beach Club, and things aren't looking too good for BFFs Claire (Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts's adorable niece) and Hailey (pre-teen pop star Joanna "JoJo" Levesque). Hailey's mom, some kind of fish scientist, gets a grant that requires the family to move to faraway Australia. In a desperate midnight prayer, the girls invoke some dark hurricane gods (for real) and wake up to (kersploosh!) a fishy, blond, mildly irritating babe named Aquamarine stranded in the swimming pool. She's a mermaid, and she needs their help.

Support The Stranger

For those not versed in maritime law, "If you help a mermaid, you get a wish." It's a fact. Aquamarine is an undersea runaway—soon to be married off to some hideous squid-man—and to get out of it she has to find proof of true love. And so, despite the logistical impossibility of a land-boy romancing a mermaid—She is half fish! Are you paying attention?—Hailey and Claire set out to help Aqua win the hand of Raymond (Jake McDorman, hot and 19—I checked).

Yes, Aquamarine is a movie about teenage mermaids with blue highlights who fall in love with salty, tan, human lifeguards. But it's also, surprisingly, not that terrible. I actually laughed at some of the jokes (and I hate jokes!), and thought the actor-babies (especially the masterfully deadpan JoJo) were funny and cute. In fact, until the emotional, goopy, third-act wrap-up, I was pleasantly charmed by Aquamarine. There, I said it. I can't recommend Aquamarine for normal people over the age of 14. But if you're babysitting, or on a plane, or feeling nostalgic for the golden summers of childhood... kersploosh!

Sponsored
Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.