A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters discuss multiverse theory and folklore.
Messages include appreciating what you've got, strong sibling relationship, loyal friends, and questioning social barriers.
Positive Role Models
Alex's wish for his little brother, Stevie, to disappear comes true but he's quick to realize his mistake and put things right. When Alex becomes one of the popular kids, he feels unhappy and alienated from his real friends. Jocks and popular girls are shown as one-dimensional and mean-spirited.
Violence & Scariness
Kids simulate war movie combat in woods with goo guns and walkie-talkies. Bullies dump a pizza on two kids' heads and punch one's arm. Character tips milk over another character's head. Painful football tackles. Mention of "gouging eyes out" in folklore. Character watches a horror movie on TV featuring a mummy chasing a screaming character through a cemetery.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kiss on the cheek. Teen crushes.
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"Stupid," "butt," "poo," and "jerk" are used infrequently.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that You Wish! is a thoughtful 2003 Disney TV Movie -- based on Jackie French Koller's YA novel, If I Had One Wish -- that tells the classic "be careful what you wish for" tale. Teenager Alex (A.J. Trauth) quickly realizes his new life -- achieved thanks to a magic coin -- isn't as good as he thought it would be and learns to appreciate his family and friends. These positive life lessons are handled well, without sentiment, leading to some charming, heartwarming, and thought-provoking results. The main friendship group is shown as tight and caring. Jocks and other popular high school kids are depicted as one-dimensional and mean. Bullies put pizzas on two boys' heads and punch one on the arm. In one scene, filmed like a war movie, friends play with water guns. A character has milk poured over their head. Discussing folklore, there is mention of eyes being gouged out. Characters watch a horror movie on TV featuring a mummy chasing a screaming woman through a cemetery. Teen characters are attracted to each other and there is talk of dating, but the romance only goes as far as a kiss on the cheek. There is occasional mild language, such as "butt," "poo," and "jerk." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The well-trodden "one wish" cautionary tale about how life could be, is dependable, compelling, and -- when it works -- highly satisfying. 2003'sYou Wish! nails it, thanks to some genuinely funny moments and believable teen characters that round out the movie's rich world. When Alex erases his brother Stevie from existence -- thanks to a magic coin -- Alex finds himself as a TV star of a show called Where's Stevie? This sci-fi undercurrent injects an intelligent, sometimes mind-bending element that beefs up the story and avoids it from being a generic rehash of a familiar theme.
The movie's "grass is always greener" message is also surprisingly deep. In the new "no-Stevie" universe, it emerges that the extra money not spent on Stevie allowed Alex's parents to send him to football camp and become the star quarterback. It's just one example of the smart writing that, together with some charming performances and laugh-out-loud moments, elevates You Wish! to a fun TV movie of feature film quality.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.