Monday, 25 April 2011

A Simple Wish (1997)

My small cousins found this in my DVD collection over the Easter weekend and decided they wanted to watch it.
A Simple Wish is brilliant. Martin Short plays male fairy godmother (they had to let him pass the exam because otherwise they'd be accused of sexism, despite the fact he undoubtedly failed) the way you'd expect him to play it. This is before the Damages days so we'd only ever seen Marty play a total nut, but never a threatening nut, that is most important.
I used to love this film, I was thirteen when I first saw it and loving Martin Short in the innocent way that I did I did not see anything sinister about it at all. I made my grown up pals watch it last year and they were extremely creeped out by it. He is twitchy and awkward and he tells 8 year-old Mara Wilson (Matilda) not to tell anyone about him. He arrives in her room in the middle of the night and despite being a creepy middle-aged man she accepts he is a fairy godmother... Ok, so I see their point, maybe it is kind of weird and it wouldn't get made in the same way today. I was worried the kids would think it was weird this weekened, but guess what- they loved it.
Yep! It is magical! And the fact that he's awkward and useless isn't creepy, it's funny and cute.
I was so relieved that I googled Marty to see what the heck he's been up to these last few years, he hasn't made a film for ages! I was horrified to find out that his wife died last year, really, really awful. I completely loved him when I was small and I remember reading about a lot of his family dying when he was young, I couldn't think of anything more horrific to happen to someone who from what I remember in those old interviews obviously just wanted a happy healthy family of his own. I'm glad his kids are all quite grown up and they have him. Poor Marty. He was my total hero when I was small.


  1. I never loved Martin Short in an innocent way, even my thirteen year old self was a deviant. I just thought it seemed bad taste to write that while saying how sorry I was that his wife died.

  2. hehe, you are funny and I too loved that film as a child... still I never thought it was ickish to have a strange man pouncing out of the cupboard till you mentioned it! I guess kids just don't think like that and neither do I (24 and oddly naive as I am)
    Films are all about making you believe and a Simple Wish did that so well in the 'real world' of New York. Thank you for knowing all of this about Martin Short and having a fancy for him as a deviant teen... I'll never look at him quite the same again