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Film / A Simple Wish

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A 1997 fantasy comedy film staring Martin Short, Mara Wilson and Kathleen Turner. The film about a bumbling male fairy godmother named Murray (Short), who tries to help Annabel (Wilson) fulfill her wish that her father, a carriage driver, wins the leading role in a Broadway musical.

This film provides examples of:

  • Cain and Abel: Duane mentions that he shot and killed his brother, Roy, just to get a clean T-Shirt.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Murray mentions early in the film that he's skilled with spells involving frogs and rain, which comes in handy when sabotaging Tony Sable's audition.
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  • Fairy Godmothers: And a whole lot of them. Murray happens to be the only male Fairy Godmother.
  • Fate Worse than Death: At the end of the movie, Claudia accidentally traps herself inside her mirror... which she then proceeds to accidentally break.
    Murray: Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Now who's the fairest of them all?
    Claudia: I am! I AM! Uh-oh... *mirror falls and shatters* We are! WE ARE!
  • Fun with Acronyms: NAFGA, the "North American Fairy Godmother Association" (read: NAFTA, or North American Free Trade Agreement).
  • Hand Gagging: Boots does this to Anabel when ordered to capture Murray. Of course, they wanted to go and see Claudia, anyway.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Boots betrays Claudia by giving Murray's wand back to its rightful owner after realizing that Claudia will never make her a partner. This, however, results in her being turned back into a dog.
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  • He is the Fairy Godmother
  • Humanity Ensues: Claudia's Dragon, Boots, was originally a dog. She is later changed back after seeing the true colors of her master.
  • Inept Mage: Murray is...not a very good fairy godmother. A lot of the problems in the film stem from his mess-ups. He gets better in the end, though.
  • Jerkass: Duane, all the way. We also get Tony Sable, whose jerkassness in the end costs him the lead role in the play after tripping over a bucket, courtesy of Murray. Claudia also counts of course, being the villain and all.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At one point near the end of the film, an enchantedly-boneless Murray's face collides with the camera, covering it.
  • Missing Mom: All we know about Annabel and Charlie's mother is that she's deceased.
  • Poke the Poodle: Claudia "tortures" Annabel and Murray by forcing them to dance like ballerinas.
  • Taken for Granite: Murray's attempt to grant Anabel's wish at Central Park results in Oliver being turned into a statue, Duchess being turned into a mouse, and a carriage being turned into a pumpkin. They get better.
  • Wicked Witch: Claudia
  • Wishing for More Wishes: Murray tells Annabel that she can't do this with her wish and they plugged this loophole up years ago.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Duane has no problems with attempting to shoot Annabel or crush her after a transformation backfire.