Watch A Simple Wish
- 1 hr 29 min
A Simple Wish is a 1997 family comedy film that tells the story of a young girl named Anabel Greening, played by Mara Wilson, who wishes to become a fairy godmother like her father, who is a master of the trade. Her father, an absentee stage magician named Murray, played by Martin Short, is rarely around, leaving Anabel in the care of her mother, who is a struggling actress in New York City preparing to star in a musical.
Anabel is thrilled when her father arrives in town for her eighth birthday and takes her to see a terrible rendition of Cinderella, starring her mother. During the show, Anabel sees her father perform some magic tricks from the audience and she becomes convinced that he is secretly a real fairy godmother. When her father is called away on an emergency job, Anabel sneaks onto his magical conveyance and tries to help him on his assignment, but ends up causing a mess and losing her father's wand.
Desperate to set things right, Anabel teams up with a clumsy sanitation worker named Charlie, played by Robert Pastorelli, to search for the wand and complete her father's assignment. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles, including an evil fairy godmother named Claudia, played by Kathleen Turner, who is determined to steal Murray's wand and use it to take over the world of magic.
The film is full of silly and whimsical moments, as Short's character is a bumbling and inept fairy godmother who often makes things worse instead of better. The dynamic between Short and Wilson is particularly charming, as Anabel tries to teach her father how to be a proper fairy godmother and he struggles to understand the nuances of his powers. Pastorelli brings a down-to-earth quality to the film, providing much of the physical comedy as the hapless Charlie, who is constantly falling down or getting knocked over by magical creatures.
Despite its goofy premise, A Simple Wish has a heartwarming message about family and the power of believing in oneself. Anabel learns to rely on her own abilities instead of relying on her absent father, and her mother has a touching moment of triumph when she finally gets her chance to shine on stage. While the film is undeniably silly, it has some genuine emotional moments that will resonate with viewers of all ages.
One of the highlights of the film is the magical world that Murray and Anabel inhabit. The world of fairy godmothers is portrayed as a parallel dimension that can be accessed through magical portals hidden throughout the city. The creatures that populate this world, such as flying pigs, unicorns, and talking animals, are charmingly rendered and add to the film's sense of whimsy. The special effects, while not groundbreaking, are adequate for the film's needs and help to bring the magical world to life.
Overall, A Simple Wish is a fun and charming family film that will appeal to younger viewers and anyone who appreciates silly humor and magical hijinks. While not a classic of the genre, it is certainly an entertaining diversion that will leave audiences feeling uplifted and amused.
A Simple Wish is a 1997 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.3.