Character: Charlotte Flax

Directed by: Richard Benjamin

Written by: Patty Dann (book), June Roberts (screenplay)

Cast Members: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Michael Schoeffling, Christina Ricci

Release date: December 14, 1990

Genre: Comedy, Romance

An unconventional single mother relocates with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.


The film is based on the 1986 novel of the same title written by Patty Dann. It was shot in and around the town of Ipswich, Massachusetts and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It was the first film role of Christina Ricci and Winona received a Golden Globe nomination and won a National Board of Review Award for her performance. However, she wasn’t the first choice to play Charlotte. The role was initially cast with Emily Lloyd. She had begun shooting the film when Cher supposedly made a complaint that she couldn’t play her daughter because she was too fair haired and Winona Ryder replaced her.


  • We just struck up an instant friendship. We connected real well, and I think that comes through the film.
    Noni about Cher
  • I was really sick, and I couldn’t get better because I was so cold all the time.
    Noni about shooting Mermaids
  • Noni and I had some catastrophic days and we cried a lot. Both of us were insecure being told that out instincts weren’t on target. Noni was battling insomnia and chewing her nails up to the elbow. If I wasn’t so strong and she so trusting, we would never have gotten through it.
    Cher about shooting Mermaids
  • You stop communicating because you can’t articulate what you’re feeling. You assume your parents can read your mind. You’re confused, they’re confused. It’s a party of confusion.
    Noni about Charlotte
  • It was the last day of shooting which was great, so we had the whole movie behind us, so we were really excited.
    Noni about the final dance scene
  • Film Promotion

  • Pale Ryder (The Face, 1989)
  • Meet the couple (Select, 1991)
  • The Best Girl in the World (Stern, 1991)
  • Winona Ryder Beats the Hit (Rolling Stone, 1991)

  • Winona has attended the world premiere in Los Angeles on December 10, 1990. Also, she attended the Golden Globes ceremony, which she received a supporting actress nomination, in January 19, 1991.

    Script developed by Never Enough Design