Ryder learns about more than mermaids...

Much less sure of when to go for the gag or the heartstrings, ’60s-set coming-of-age dramedy Mermaids isn’t in the same league as Moonstruck, but its witty and heartfelt mother-daughter dynamic keeps it appealing nevertheless.

Toying with Bob Hoskins’ shoe salesman, Cher’s vampily eccentric single mum is the big personality in every scene – but there’s a generosity in her playing that lets Winona Ryder’s conflicted sex-or-spirituality teen blossom, too.

Like Mask, Mermaids is one of Cher’s freewheeling-mum movies, where a slap says as much as a kiss, showing off her much-missed ability to be simultaneously tough and tender.

Forget the five-and-dime, will someone get her back on the big screen, please?

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