Watch: Spoof of Sofia Coppola’s Upcoming ‘Little Mermaid’ Film

Well, this is only mildly funny. A couple days ago Funny or Die posted a spoof for Sofia Coppola’s upcoming The Little Mermaid film. If you remember back in March it was announced that the Lost in Translation and Somewhere director was going to be at the helm of a live action adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairytale. Because this news seemed so outlandish and far from anything Coppola has done so far the internet didn’t waste anytime and sure enough we got our first spoof (and the movie isn’t even out yet). 

The clip featured below jokingly imagines what Sofia Coppola‘s film might look like. It’s sort of a pseudo trailer mimicking previous trailers for her films. It’s not really that funny, I’m not offended by it or anything, but it’s certainly not as clever as it thinks it is. Of course though, I jump at any opportunity I get to bring up Sofia Coppola or publicize her films, so there you go. The spoof doesn’t really imitate Sofia’s style, but rather makes fun of how her trailers are cut. The spoof mainly riffs on Somewhere.

I thought that was interesting, because that’s probably the one audiences are least familiar with. I mean it won the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice Film Festival and it’s an outstanding film and one of her best in my opinion, but audiences were mostly turned off by its deliberate pacing and the lack of plot. Anyway, the spoof focuses on making fun of the pool scenes. You have Evan Peters playing a Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) type of character. I think the scene where he smokes under water is kind of funny.

That’s also the only shot in the spoof that vaguely resembles Coppola’s work visually. The Lost in Translation nod mimicking Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) whispering something incomprehensible into Bob’s (Bill Murray) ear is really funny. Aside from that they also imitate the opening shot of that film and the famous karaoke scene, which I love. Marie Antoinette is referenced with the title card for the film (though Sofia always changes the font and style of her title cards) and with the Chuck Taylor All Stars.

There’s also a lot of music lifted directly from her films or imitating songs/musical scores. That’s also where most of The Bling Ring jokes in the spoof come from. I didn’t notice any jokes related to Sofia’s debut feature The Virgin Suicides, I guess they just assumed that nobody knew that one. There’s more references to Somewhere and other films, I just wanted to mention a couple.  I like the actors in this clip, especially AnnaSophia Robb who is a very talented young actress.

It’s fitting that she’s in this, since she was in another water-themed film in Sean McNamara’s Soul Surfer. Although as you know my preferred choice is still Elle Fanning, I’d still take her over Emma Watson or Anna Kendrick, who are both rumored to be considered for the title role. Anna Kendrick actually did an SNL spoof of Disney’s animated version of The Little Mermaid. Emma Watson on the other hand actually already has the costume (sort of): “I actually dressed up as Ariel for my fifth birthday”.

She also added: “I mean I’d have to read it first […] I love Sofia so much”. Well, come on now Emma, don’t be ridiculous: You know Sofia’s films are only loosely based on her scripts, you worked with her, you know she’s one of the great American filmmakers, there’s nothing to think about. In any case, Emma Watson or not: I’m still super stoked for this film. I can’t wait to see what Coppola does with it and it’s going to be especially fun and interesting to see how she handles the fairytale aspect and the fantasy elements related to that.



  1. Alina (literaryvittles)

    ha! too bad Anna Sophia Robb is in the spoof, because I assume that means she won’t play the title role. Anyway, it made me chuckle (but only a little bit – I never find Funny or Die stuff all that funny) mostly because I could only stand about 15 minutes of “Somewhere.”

      • Alina (literaryvittles)

        Yep, it was the pacing. Plus how boring the guy was. All that money to spend on whatever he wanted, and so bored in spite of it! I guess that was part of the point, but I just have a hard time feeling sorry for people who don’t know what to do with themselves in those kinds of situations.

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