There are many things that upset the life of a teenager, like parents, homework, chores, work but one of the biggest, hellish and most frustrating struggle a teen must face is insecurity.
Insecurity, what a distasteful word, the mere mention of it sends me into the black pit of despair that is the memory of my teenhood. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about, that feeling that you are not good enough, you are not fit enough or pretty enough or that you are not good enough to be noticed by anyone. Don't deny it, I'm sure you've all felt the bitter sting of insecurity. We all have and I'm including the people who you thought were extremely confident on that list too. Yes, even her:
|She thinks that thing on her face needs fixing.|
You know, that thing on her face? Is she the only
one that's noticed that thing?
The thing is, we all feel insecure about ourselves because we are all our own worst critics. It doesn't matter who tells you that you are pretty and worth while, you will always look at someone else and wish you could be them because life would be so much easier; which brings me to today's movie: Wish upon a Star.
|Yeah that's right, we're going into the 90s, Disney Style!|
|It's Alexia Wheaton, bitch.|
Well, her sister was really obsessed with her looks so this would tick her off...
Ok, Hayley's revenge is a little weak but she does maul Alexia's boyfriend in front of her but then, Alexia/Hayley is doing this:
Point Alexia. Again.
The girls are caught and finally reigned in by the Principal. She threatens to disqualify Alexia from the homecoming queen race and Hayley from the science fair but they both plead each others cases and she lets them off lightly by asking them to clean the Girl's bathroom wall. The girls finally talk about their issues with each other and we learn why they each acted out. It's a sweet scene where the girls come to understand one another and Hayley learns that Alexia isn't as experienced in love as she once believed. This is an interesting concept that I don't think any "swap bodies" movie had touched upon, that switching bodies with someone is a violation of one's self. Watching someone else as you do things to your body that you hadn't done before is kind of creepy when you really think of it and I understand Alexia's anger at the hickey and her fear that Hayley will lose her virginity for her. But, this is, Disney so all that thought is left up to you, they don't go into it more than that but kudos to them for even bringing that thought to the surface. So, finally the parents are brought in to discuss their girls' behaviour. The principal is ticked that their daughter was parading around in S&M garb and the other was practically mauling her boyfriend in public but they have psychology on their side, right?
The Principal's WTF? faces throughout the parents'
weak explanation makes me laugh every time.
weak explanation makes me laugh every time.
You know, I've noticed that in almost every teen movie out there, parents are made out to be incredibly dumb and clueless. Why is that? Is it the film producers way of telling teens "hey, this movie gets you. Parents just don't understand you guys, they are clueless as to how things really are but you guys get it." We're all guilty of this in our teen years, we think we know everything and that our parents are the fucked up weirdos and then we grow up, get slapped in the face with reality and realise that we didn't know shit back then. But, I digress.
The parents leave the school and the Principal now feels sympathy for the girls for being brought up by such dumbasses. This is perfect because now the girls are working together and helping each other straighten their lives out. Alexia/Hayley smooth talks Hayley's teacher to get back into the science fair and Hayley/Alexia tutors Alexia to help get her grades up to get into college. The girls are closer than ever and the parents pat themselves on the back for their great "parenting skills" and talk about writing a book. Haha, jokes on them, they didn't do anything, it was all the wish. Heh heh, stupid parents are...stupid!
So after their day of righting wrongs, the girls stay up so that Hayley/Alexia can make the wish to set things right. Alexia/Hayley falls asleep early but it's ok because Hayley/Alexia spots the star by herself.
Easy as pie...
So problem over, right? Wrong. They're going to pad this out some more, gotta make it at least 90 minutes, remember. However, the pay off is pretty good and sweet so I don't mind this delay as much as I would mind other obvious ones. Hayley/Alexia wakes up in her sister's body still and is devastated. All hope is lost and she believes that she is stuck in her sister's body forever. Haven't you ever heard, 'Be careful what you wish for' before?
Alexia/Hayley is still cheery, believing that they both fell asleep early but she is still bummed that her sister gets to have her moment of glory in the homecoming parade. Hayley/Alexia doesn't want to upset her sister so she stays quiet about the reverse wish fail.
Today is the big day, Hayley's science project has to be presented, Alexia has to meet up with a College acceptance panel and it's homecoming because everything important happens during the big high school dance. Hayley/Alexia manages to impress the panel and promises them a B average her next semester and Alexia/Hayley manages to present Hayley's science project and wins first prize.
The girls meet up to tell each other the good news but when Alexia/Hayley cheerfully tells her that Hayley will be able to present her project at Nationals, Hayley/Alexia finally breaks down and tells Alexia the bad news. They can't ever switch back. Alexia doesn't seem shocked by Hayley's confession and she finally confesses herself. She had wished to be Hayley at the same moment that Hayley wished to be her.
|Exactly, Gandhi, exactly.|
On a serious note, I really like this reveal. It shows you that even the supposed prettiest, most together girl still feels insecure about something. It's not pretty versus average, popular versus underdog, it's everyone against the world. We're all vulnerable, we're all trying to be or hoping to be better than we are, it's human nature. I like this message, it is an important one to send out to people, that you are not the only one out there who wishes they were anyone other than themselves and it makes me really like the Alexia character who I disliked at the beginning of the movie and wrote off as a vapid valley girl right away. She may have been on the outside but inside, she wanted so much more, she wanted to be smart like her sister, to have her life ahead of her. It killed her to think that high school would be all she had, and to her, Hayley had a bright future to look forward to where as she would have nothing. It's kind of nice to see that other side to people.
So anyways, the girls have a new found hope and, together this time, make their wish:
Rockin' 90s effects, y'all!
Why is it that wishes work instantaneously the second time but only work after a night's sleep the first time? Seriously, this seems to happen in all body switch movies but whatever, they are finally back in their own bodies and they couldn't be happier. Alexia wins homecoming Queen, is happy with her boyfriend and her friends have renounced their snobbish rules except for the one where they are totally BFF! Hayley will be able to present her science project at Nationals and she gets to dance with the boy next door who had a crush on her and her sister gives her the tiara she won. Most importantly, the sisters have grown to understand and appreciate one another and have become closer than they ever were before. And on that note, we end on a wink:
What a cheesy movie...and I fucking love it! I can't explain it but I just love the dynamic between the sisters in this and I really like the different kind of twist they put on this with the whole body swap concept. In most other movies, the body swap occurs because the characters are somehow cursed and that curse is only lifted when they learn something but what force cursed them in the first place? And how did this someone know exactly when the characters "learned their lesson" so to speak?
In this movie, it is our characters who cause the body switch out of a desire to be what they aren't. It's a neat look at both teenage insecurity and the whole "Be careful what you wish for" concept. The girls had to work their issues out and be totally honest with each other and truly work together to get out of their mess and I really liked that. I also liked that Disney had some balls to go with the whole "dominatrix outfit" scene, I don't think any other out fit would have worked for that scene, it kind of had to be shocking. Respect.
So, if you are ever in the mood for a good fluff film, I truly do recommend Wish Upon a Star, it's fun and heartwarming at the same time and I don't think we'll ever see such a sincere effort from a Disney teen movie again but time will tell.
I'm Blinvy and this has been another Teenage Wasteland review...type thing.
Clips used: Wish Upon a Star