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Wish Upon a Star

Columbia/Tri-Star // PG // August 21, 2001
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Earl Cressey | posted November 24, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Review:
Wish Upon a Star

Movie:
Wish Upon a Star debuted a few years ago on the Disney Channel and has recently been released to DVD. Directed by Blair Treu and written by Jessica Barondes, the film stars Katherine Heigl (Alexia) and Danielle Harris (Hayley).

Hayley and Alexia Wheaton couldn't be more different. Hayley is intelligent, but lacks fashion sense and social skills, while Alexia is gorgeous and popular, but can't cut it academically. Neither talks to the other about their life or their problems. Jealous of her, Hayley makes a wish to become Alexia when she sees a shooting star. The next morning, they've switched bodies. Over the course of the next few days, each gets a chance to experience how life is for the other, and in doing so, they grow closer as sisters. But with Hayley's Science Fair presentation and Alexia's Winter Festival coming up, can they figure out how to reverse the wish?

Made for TV movies, those airing on Disney in particular, are usually a mixed bag. Very few of them have any real charm or comedic value, and even fewer are worth watching again. Wish Upon a Star, however, is terrific. The two leads, Heigl and Harris, are both believable throughout and fun to watch. The film is charming and enjoyable, and will certainly appeal to families looking to watch something with their teens that's clean and entertaining. Sure, some of it is clich├ęd, but I can definitely see watching this one again in the future.

Picture:
Wish Upon a Star is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer has some minor edge enhancement and a few print flaws, like specks and smaller marks, show up occasionally. Colors throughout are vibrant, flesh tones are accurate, and blacks are rich throughout.

Sound:
Wish Upon a Star is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround. As it is mainly dialogue driven, the film features limited surrounds, though the soundtrack does sound great. Dialogue throughout is crisp and clean with no distortion that I detected. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

Extras:
The main extra on the disc is an audio commentary with Blair Treu and Jessica Barondes, the director and writer, respectively. A very relaxed commentary, Treu talks about the cast, shooting, and locations, as well as shares some stories from behind the scenes. Barondes talks about writing the film, her inspirations for it, and changes that occurred in the script. Both also mention scenes that were cut. Unfortunately, these aren't included. Other extras include filmographies for the two leads and trailers for The Babysitter's Club, Hook, Jumanji, and Spice World.

Summary:
Wish Upon a Star is a light-hearted teen comedy that both parents and kids can enjoy. Though the presentation is not without flaw, the disc does include an excellent commentary track. Recommended.

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