Last week I grabbed a girlfriend, guzzled down some adult beverages, and headed to the Castro Theater for The Little Mermaid sing along. Greeted ceremoniously at the door by a plump woman in a red wig, squeezed into a sequined tube skirt, I was ready for the silliness to ensue. She gifted me with a bag full of treasures befitting a trip under the sea and soon, crowned and swathed in "pearls," I joined a room full of excited patrons blowing bubbles while conducting an orchestra of fish with our glow sticks. Though our vocals didn't warrant any fans, good times were had by all! Leave your inhibitions at the door, and liberate your vocal chords! I highly recommend this, or any other Castro Theater sing along http://www.castrotheatre.com/singalongs.html (West Side Story and Sound of Music are coming up next; JOY!!!)
But wait! Screech! Was anybody else bothered just a bit by the content of this film? At the risk of sounding like an old sea hag with a stick up my ass, I have to admit, I find the messages in Little Mermaid a bit troubling for us ladies. In case you forgot the plot, I'll remind you. This film features Ariel, a beautiful Mermaid with a fantastic life under the Sea, and introduces her to the guy your father warned you about; in this case, a two legged human being. Faster than you can say abracadabra, this fishy chick is making sure to go sour deals with a Sea Witch, just to get the chance to be a part of her heartthrobs world. Rest assured, after some twist and turns, Disney has a white dress ready and waiting for our love soaked heroine. She not only gets her man, she gains a pair of legs, and theoretically a vagina out of this deal. OK! But at what price? Before the bouquet flies, she's going to change the very essence of what she is; a mermaid! What the fuck?!
Sure, "the seaweed looks greener in somebody else's lake," and Ariel is the kind of girl who yearns to experience more from life than what is familiar and safe -- I can identify with that -- but this fish out of water thing is gonna get old eventually right? And then what? Having left her family, friends, and fishtail behind in pursuit of her prince, what will happen if it all doesn't pan out? Sure, call me a pessimist, but 50% of marriages end in divorce. Statistical data is missing on interspecies unions, but it can't imagine it's much higher. All I'm saying is; there's no guarantee that our relationships are really gonna end happily ever after, so we better make sure we don't loose track of ourselves in the process.
Ariel wouldn't be the first lady to mistakenly believe she'd be better off trading in a little of her own magic for a man. I imagine in the sequel to this film, an older and wiser Little Mermaid might be singing a more sour tune. "I used to be enchanted Mermaid under the sea, but I gave it all up for cramps and cankles?" So I say, whether or not your story reads like a fairy tale, remember this; Life is like an ocean; it has it's ups and downs. Just make sure, whether it's smooth sailing, or the sea gets rocky, you still have the goods to make your own splash.
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