Splash Ron Howard

Beyond the fact that it proves that this film has stood the test of time as a romantic comedy, this 20th anniversary edition of Splash offers some insightful and entertaining commentary from the cast and crew about the origins of this box office hit. While it's still easy to laugh off the infantile premise of this mermaid love story as kid's stuff that today would be a no-brainer Hollywood cash-grab, this DVD offers a documentary ("Making a Splash") and audio commentary from director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel that tells a vastly different story. Splash was Grazer's baby from the get-go but the script was rejected by every major studio and A-list actor in Hollywood. Undaunted, the single-minded producer finally convinced Disney Studios to get behind the project, much to his director's chagrin; Howard made it known that he did not want to make a G-rated kid's flick for the Mouse. After much discussion about the script, a just appointed Michael Eisner agreed to green light the adult-oriented film under a different studio moniker and Splash came to be the first PG-rated film released under Disney's new Touchstone Films division. Even with a studio to back the film, Grazer still had a bankable cast to assemble. After signing hip SCTV stars John Candy and Eugene Levy (who steal nearly every scene they're in) to appear in the film, there was the matter of casting the starring roles of the lovesick landlubber, Allen Bauer, and his fishy seductress, Madison. Trusting their instincts, Grazer and Howard went with an unknown actor from a failed sitcom named Tom Hanks and the sexy punk from Blade Runner, Darryl Hannah, to fill the roles. While history has proven that the gamble paid off, it's obvious from the original audition tapes included in this edition that Hanks and Hannah were ready to make this movie a success. Hanks in particular projects a cool demeanour beyond his years when he should be a nervous wreck while auditioning for his first starring role in a major film. The fact that his performance in the film is a virtual duplicate of his audition is a testament to his hunger as a young actor and symbolic of the heart and soul invested in making Splash the enduring classic it is. (Touchstone/Buena Vista)