A Simple Wish


A Simple Wish

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,270
User image

A Simple Wish Photos

Movie Info

This comic children's fantasy from director Michael Ritchie stars Mara Wilson as eight-year-old New Yorker Anabel, who wishes that her father Oliver (Robert Pastorelli), a hansom cab driver in Central Park, would see his dream come true. In a thinly veiled jab at the overblown stage productions of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Oliver aspires to be cast in the lead role in a new big-budget musical based on A Tale of Two Cities. Anabel's wish is received by Murray (Martin Short), the very first male fairy godmother, a bumbler who predictably botches the spell fulfilling Anabel's wish, turning Oliver into a statue instead. In order to reverse the mistake, Murray needs help from his union, the North American Fairy Godmothers Association (NAFGA), which is holding a convention in Manhattan. Enter Claudia (Kathleen Turner), a scheming former fairy godmother turned witch, who steals the attendees' magic wands, intending to use their magic in a bid for power. A Simple Wish (1997) was one of four films representing the initial slate of The Bubble Factory, a movie production house assembled by the theater world's Sheinberg family. Their other films were The Pest (1997), McHale's Navy (1997), and For Richer or Poorer (1997).

Watch it now


Alan Campbell
as Tony Sable
Jonathan Hadary
as Lord Richard
Ruby Dee
as Hortense
Clare Coulter
as Ms. Bramble
Jack McGee
as Officer O'York
Lillian Ritchie
as Schoolgirl
Miriam Ritchie
as Schoolgirl
H.D. Trayer
as German Tourist
Sabine Thomson
as German Tourist
Peter Linari
as German Tourist
Maja Niles
as German Tourist
David Crean
as Tony's Agent
Bunty Webb
as Fairy Godmother
Valerie Boyle
as Fairy Godmother
Barbara Stewart
as Fairy Godmother
Kathryn Kirkpatrick
as Fairy Godmother
Adam David
as Sable's Chauffeur
Rick Fox
as Pianist
Derek Carkner
as Shaw's Assistant
Henry Gomez
as Investor
Frank Cee
as Vendor
View All

Critic Reviews for A Simple Wish

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (12)

  • Not even Short can make A Simple Wish memorable, often looking as though he's merely surviving the work, stripped of his killer instinct.

    Mar 14, 2014 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…
  • Above average kids movie. The girl has real brains, which is great for kids to see.

    Jul 14, 2003 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's not brilliant or for adults, but it's a nice, pleasant movie you can pretend to be eight years old with.

    Jun 14, 2001 | Rating: 2.5
  • The ensuing comic clash between inept Murray and smarmy Claudia is almost as funny as 'Long Day's Journey Into Night,' and every bit as magical.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Simple Wish

  • Dec 06, 2010
    Martin Short plays a bumbling fairy godmother to little Mara Wilson, who makes a wish that her actor-father (Robert Pastorelli) finds success. Anabel quickly learns that Murray is short on experience when he ends up turning her father into a statue accidentally. Now the blundering Murray and Annabel have until midnight to rescue her dad, battle a wicked witch (Kathleen Turner) and recover stolen magic wands to restore the world to a place where wishes really can come true. <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2cibolu" target="_blank"><img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/2cibolu.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> A fun witty film and Mara ("Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Matilda") is cute as always. <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2lpez7" target="_blank"><img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2lpez7.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A so-so movie about a kid who makes a wish and it comes true. It's pretty predictable, and not very funny.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2007
    A fun little fantasy world movie.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2007
    Excellent fun family film. Loved the tale of two cities too.An inspired performance by Martin Short as a novice fairy godmother nearly lifts an indifferent movie.
    Alexander C Super Reviewer

A Simple Wish Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features