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|Index||21 reviews in total|
This was a fun film, and part of what made the film amusing was that the actors/actresses really seemed to be enjoying themselves. The story is cute, about a bumbling male fairy godmother (Martin Short) who screws up a wish to the first child under his care and has to help set things straight by rescuing magic wands from a former fairy godmother turned witch (Kathleen Turner) and her dog turned human, Boots (the great Amanda Plummer). It's a very original idea, which is rare amongst family films these days which all seem to be remakes or rehashed films. The only real downside to this film (keeping in mind, of course, that it is aimed towards kids) is that some of the dialogue is *really* cheezy and unbelievable (The 10 year-old I was watching over while watching this film kept said 'gimme a break' and 'yeah, right' at a couple of points in the film...and it's one of her favs;) The effects were fun, Martin Short was funny (most of the time...he tends to overdo it at certain moments) and Amanda Plummer really shines..all in all, a good film to watch with one's children. 7/10.
> This is a very good kids movie, that is fun and entertaining. Martin Short makes a hilarious Fairy Godmother, or should I say "Fairy Godfather" to Mara Wilson, who only wants her dad to be in a broadway show, but gets mixed up and must stop an evil witch played by Kathleen Turner, or her dad will become a statue! This movie was smart and fun, and the "frog in your throat" scene was gross-out funny! I give it 10/10.
This movie made my daughter (7) laugh so much .. it made me laugh too just through her at first. Later I found myself remembering some of the scenes and laughing to myself. The slapstick and silliness appeal to the child in everyone. Yes, I grew up loving the Three Stooges shorts and Short uses their antics in no short supply. From the opening scenes Murrey shows us what kind on stooge he really is and it just develops from there as the film moves through it's plot. It's not a bad plot as family movies go. Kathleen Turner puts in a wicked performance as a villainous witch. The special effects are good and used in a way that compliments the funniness of the scenes and aren't just there to dazzle or put there arbitrarily. I saw a comment on another Short movie that fits the bill here too. I'm going to change it while keeping the spirit of it intact. If you don't get the meaning of slapstick humor then (there's nothing to get just ...let it happen) go rent a George Carlin standup video instead. There's some very funny scenes here and a decent plot so I'll rate this family comedy for what it is at a solid 7 stars.
Anabel's father is a New York horse-drawn carriage driver but hopes to
become a Broadway star. With his next audition he is ready to throw it
all in and go work in his cousin's rendering plant on Nebraska. Anabel
wishes for her fairy godmother to help them but, because the majority
of them are tied up at the annual conference she has to make do with
the failing trainee Murray. She quickly finds that Murray is not quite
as good as he has told her and most of their time is spent trying to
correct his mistakes. Things are more complicated when they are pursued
by witch Claudia, who has trapped all the other godmothers and only
needs Murray's wand to finalise her attempts at total power.
Although I taped this film in error thinking it was something else, I still ended up watching it as it was a bonus family film to act as distraction. Normally I wouldn't bother with such a thing but on this occasion I did and the end product was a basic but quite entertaining film that had enough to stop it being boring for me and enough silliness and energy to make it enjoyable for children. The narrative is a bit messy, for a while it is about Murray's weakness as a Fairy Godmother but then it becomes a big finish around a plot by Claudia to get all the power for herself. The two strands don't sit well together at all, and the latter just feels like it has been added to bulk the former out and give it more impact as a dramatic finish. However, it is quite amusing along the way and children will enjoy the mix of silliness, effects and magic.
The cast are OK and are a good part of this working. Short is a bit irritating but he does overplay the silliness well enough to provide distraction. Turner seems to enjoy herself even if her role is a bit smaller than I'm sure she expected; meanwhile Plummer does her usual "slightly unhinged" thing but this time as a dog. Pastorelli has little to do but Wilson and Capra are both engaging without being like the very sickly All-American kids that US family films can be dripping with.
Overall this is a family film and therefore not the sort of thing any adult would really chose to watch alone because there isn't much just for them, even if it isn't bad as such. The energy, silliness and pace of the film will make it a winner for children and it serves well as a distraction if hardly a great film for the ages.
Okay, while the plot may not be Shakespeare, its simplicity is refreshing. Martin Short is very funny, as always, and Mara Wilson is a wonderful child actress whose acting caliber could compare to many adult actors/actresses. Kathleen Turner is delicious to watch as a bad apple witch, who's bent on revenge. Her deep yet sultry voice and beautiful looks present the perfect image of a goody-goody witch gone bad. For a simple yet smart comedy, rent this film.
8-year-old Wilson (still as sweet as when we saw her in MRS. DOUBTFIRE)
wishes for her cabbie father Pastorelli to win the leading role in a
Broadway adaptation of Dickens' A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and Short (still
called a "fairy godmother" despite being a male) arrives to (attempt
to) grant it to her. Fans of Short's comedy will get it, and even if
you're not a fan of his work there are still some worthy moments;
however, the story takes way too long to get going for a movie targeted
at children. Capra's character also slows the movie down as Wilson's
stereotypical punk older brother who's protective of his younger sister
but is too cool to show it. The musical numbers in the theatre scenes
are a nice touch, but it's difficult to give the movie brownie-points
for it since the film itself is not a musical. Jaro Dick's set
decoration and Luke Reichle's costume design is terrific. Hey! one of
the Fairy Godmother's (Bunty Webb) was the 'Ay Caramba' Lady in TOMMY
** (out of four)
A Simple Wish isn't a perfect family film, but it is a nice, simple and
amusing one. Of course the story is a tad messy and predictable, it's
all a bit basic and the script on the weak and cheesy side. But kids
will definitely like it, and adults might too. The special effects are
decent, there is some nice photography and costumes and the pacing is
good, nice and skippy as I like it. Plus there are some fun moments,
one of the funniest ones was the frog-in-your-throat scene, gross but
The acting wasn't that bad either. Martin Short does overact a bit, but he is clearly having fun as Murray. Mara Wilson, who I really like, gives a typically charming performance. Robert Pastorelli is giving little to do though, but Ruby Dee and Francis Capra give entertaining performances. But for me, it was Kathaleen Turner who stole the show, as her performance is delightfully wicked and so captivating as the villainess of the piece. I must also say the music was surprisingly excellent. All in all, this is a nice underrated film. 7/10 Bethany Cox
This is really worthwhile; the Kids I showed it to (Boy,8 & girl,5) LOVED it, even to the extent of asking me to rewind/reshow certain parts. I really enjoyed the acting---lots of famous talent--the score---and the "inside" theatre stuff. Also it kept to its "G" rating without any of the violence or language found in SOOOO many purportedly "kids flix" lately. I've watched it without kids and loved it, too!
I am sick and tired of people criticizing films just because they happen to
be family movies, or G-rated, such as SCTV Fan did in the front page User
Comments to this movie. I am well into my 50's, and just happen to enjoy
well made family movies! This one is well made. I've seen others recently,
such as Bicentennial Man, Dinosaur, My Favorite Martian, The Straight Story,
Disney's Tarzan and Fantasia 2000. My simple wish is, hopefully, that this
is a trend away from the profanity and gore that makes up 75% of today's
films. These movie producers are making such movies because: 1: they are
allowed to, 2: the public is gullible to buy tickets to see them, 3: they
can't take the time to make an intelligent film with language the whole
family can listen to and understand, and action that is within limits of
My Simple Wish is not quite up to the quality of the movies I've listed above, but I thank the producers for making it, and thanks to IMDb for letting me have my soapbox.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Simple Wish (1997): Dir: Michael Ritchie / Cast: Martin Short, Mara Wilson, Kathleen Turner, Amanda Plummer, Robert Pastorelli: Simple film much like many of its kind but it contains glorious visual images that are amongst its few praises. The title symbolizes complications. It stars Martin Short as a fairy godmother who accidentally turns Mara Wilson's father into a statue. They must retrieve the wand from an evil witch by midnight. Simple plot with numerous happenings that showcase massive production values. Unfortunately it doesn't present screenplay value. Children may not relate to Broadway musicals and auditions. Then again, what element of this film can a kid possible relate too? Director Michael Ritchie has fun with the magical elements. This is somewhat similar to one of his earlier films, The Golden Child. Short is basically the bunt of a bad joke looking ridiculous, and Wilson provides the ever familiar wholesome innocence. Kathleen Turner is a superb actress but playing this witch is so beneath her talent. Amanda Plummer plays her sidekick who belongs on a dog leash and marched around central park. Robert Pastorelli plays Wilson's father who more or less should be a statue considering the role. Are adults suppose to sit through this with their children and suffer along with the talent involved? Satire of fairy tales that had potential yet one might wish for a better screenplay. Score: 4 / 10
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