Mermaid movies tend to stick to a formula. A man falls in love with a woman who he does not know is half fish. A love story for the ages can be built off that premise. Less The Little Mermaid and more of a lighthearted version of The Lure, A Mermaid in Paris does not meddle much with the story. Instead, it is a formulaic tale that will endear itself to audiences.
Gaspard (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is a singer at his father’s nightclub, the Flowerburger. He seems content with being a loner. One night when heading home, he finds an injured mermaid named Lula (Marilyn Lima). He attempts to nurse her back to health all the while seeming immune to her siren call. But what will happen when the two begin to fall in love?
A Mermaid in Paris never tries to get away from its fairy tale roots. This is seen from the opening credits which are literally straight out of a book. Director and writer Mathias Malzieu keeps the aesthetic up for most of the film. Paris is a delightful mix of a real city based in fantasy. Night scenes are beautifully shot and the Flowerburger looks like a smoky lounge out of a painting. The hospital scenes are appropriately cold and the film never fails to impress.
When the romantic leads are a singer and a mermaid whose song lures men to their deaths, the movie better have a great soundtrack. A Mermaid in Paris delivers with some of the most catchy tunes this side of Disney. Even background tunes will quickly become an earwig for anyone who hears them. The soundtrack includes songs that are upbeat, wistful, and seductive.
The story follows a set path almost to a fault. The expected tropes regarding deadlines are found. Gaspard is the heartbroken loner that almost seems too good to be true. This should lead to boredom. This never happens since A Mermaid in Paris has a whimsical quality that will charm its audience. It is a basic love story, but it is a fun one filled with genuine humor and great characters. The film is constantly introducing people and settings they will make its audience smile.
For a love story to work, it needs to have two appealing leads. Gaspard (who gets increasingly charming as A Mermaid in Paris progresses) and Lula are fantastic. The actors have a great chemistry that draws the audience in. There is an investment in what is going to happen. More importantly, everyone watching will want Gaspard and Lula to end up together.
A Mermaid in Paris is as fantastic as its name would suggest. A romantic fairy tale, the movie is unafraid to wade with tropes. The love story between Gaspard and Lula will win audiences over thanks to the strong chemistry between the leads. It looks stunning and has a fantastic soundtrack. Tts story will be as alluring as the most tempting siren call.
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