The Third Wish Movie Review

Maggie Malone (Jenna Mattison) is the type of girl that exists only in the movies: She lives in San Francisco, works in a bookstore (where virtually no one ever shops), rides her bike everywhere (invariably downhill), has a cat and lots of candles, and is friends with the homeless guy who lives in the alley downstairs (he even watches her bike for free!). She's so quirky she shakes hands with a waiter at a fancy restaurant! That's darn quirky!

Maggie Malone's story, alas, is almost too cliched even to exist in the movies. One boring day at the shop (run by Betty White, pretty much the only remotely interesting part of the film), Maggie discovers an old copy of Great Expectations, and suddenly she finds herself being granted a series of wishes, courtesy of a young British guy (Sean Maguire) who says she has a secret benefactor, who apparently is loaded with cash. (Sound familiar?)

From fancy dinners to a new car (she can't even drive) to a penthouse apartment, Maggie is given loads of free stuff. Her perfect life has somehow become even more perfect. But who is this benefactor? And why is his little friend such a massive tool?

Ultimately, The Third Wish (and in my mind, that's misleading, as Maggie gets way more than three wishes) is a love story between the mismatched couple, complete with endless montages set to every Monkees tune you've ever heard. The identity of the benefactor will be revealed in the end. You won't care who it is, namely because it has nothing to do with anything that's happened up to that point.

Shelley Jensen, directing his first feature film after spending 20 years directing hundreds of sitcom episodes brings nothing much to the table here. The film comes off like an episode of Caroline in the City (which Jensen worked on), only without a laugh track. It could have used one: Mattison's script has a few zingers but most of her jokes fall flat on their face. Painfully, in some cases.

In the end, I only have one wish: For 90 minutes to be returned to me.

Where's Bea Arthur when you need her?

Cast & Crew

Director : Shelley Jensen

Producer : Daniela C. Cretu, Philippe Diaz, Jenna Mattison, Darla Rothman


Comments

The Third Wish Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG, 2005

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