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'Aquamarine' more fun on the screen

Published May 26, 2006

Movie: Aquamarine

Rating: PG for mild language and sensuality

SummAry: Aquamarine, based on the novel by Alice Hoffman, is about two best friends, Hailey (played by singer Joanna "JoJo'' Levesque), and Claire (Emma Roberts) who are obsessed with obtaining the attention of lifeguard muscle man Raymond (Jake McDorman). They also are struggling with Hailey's upcoming move to Australia at the end of summer. The story takes a spin when a storm blows in and the pool in the Capri Beach Club is littered with seaweed, snails, clams, fish - and a mermaid. Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) ran away from home because her father was forcing her to marry someone she didn't love. Aquamarine's father doesn't believe in love so she has to prove in three days that love is real. Aquamarine promises to grant the friends one wish if they help Raymond to fall in love with her.

My View: At first I thought that this movie would be mediocre because the book was bland. Fox Studios "splashed" it up with summer partying and giddy girl humor and made it fun. I loved the suck-up starfish that gives compliments. The movie also has some good life lessons, such as when Hailey explains to Aquamarine that for humans, love is the closest thing we have to magic. I'm not a big fan of Emma Roberts in the show Unfabulous, but I thought she did a good job in this movie. Sara Paxton played a typical lightheaded blond with a heart. The setting takes place near Tampa but, viewers in Florida might wonder which of our beaches are surrounded by lush green hills. (Hint, hint - it was actually filmed in Australia.) I enjoyed the music in the movie and am pleased that the music from the motion picture has already been released in an album. Overall, at the end of the movie I thought that I would totally watch it again!

Recommendations: The tweenage crowd and teenage girls will love this clean (there is only one inappropriate word), laugh-out-loud movie, but you might want to leave dad at home.

Grade: C

Casey Siena, 11, is in fifth grade at Longleaf Elementary School in New Port Richey.