A Simple Wish

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May 1, 2012
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NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Oh, Mara Wilson...

(Clips of Matilda are shown)

NC (vo): Your place is welcome among... (Pictures of Macaulay Culkin, Fred Savage and Elijah Wood are shown) the child actors that kept picking shitty movies. Yeah, you were cute. You could act OK. (Baby talk) You had that precious little wisp that makes me want to grind my TEETH to shards.

Susan (from "Miracle on 34th Street remake", speaking with a lisp): ...unless I get arrested, which is very unlikely. It's Christmas Eve and I'm going to bed uncharacteristically early.

(NC's teeth shatter)

NC (vo): And just in the middle of being the cute little button that America never wanted sewed on, comes this charming little disaster simply known as "A Simple Wish".

(Clips from the movie are shown)

NC (vo): Oh yeah! This is a nightmare of ADORABLE proportions! It's clunky. It's stupid. It's as awkwardly enchanting as a magic show performed by Janet Reno. It's just one frickin' mess.

NC: I've heard of worse reasons to rip on a child actress, but I'm gonna do it anyway. This is "A Simple Wish".

NC (vo): So you know this movie's in trouble when you see that one of the main sponsers is The Bubble Factory. You ever wonder if it's actually like a legitimate bubble factory? If so, you got to wonder how that meeting went.

NC (as a chairman in a meeting): All right, people. We already know that the Build-A-Bear Workshop has had great success financing Terminator 2 (Showing the poster of the movie with the BAB logo on the bottom), so I say we go into financing movies. Let's see, we got this, uh, Mara Wilson fairytale or a movie about the sinking of the Titanic. Boy, that's a downer. Let's go with the Mara Wilson fairytale!

NC (vo): Fucking Bubbles!

NC (chairman): AND WHO IS THAT GUY?!

NC (vo): So we start off "once upon a time three months ago"--you know, do you really need the phrase "a time" when you have "the time"?--where we see the Fairy Godmother exams taking place while the credits roll.

(Murray (played by Martin Short) is seen sharpening his pencil)

NC (vo): Hey, look, it's that guy we all know is funny but for some reason is constantly not funny.

(Murray sneezes on everyone)

NC (vo): Yes, Martin Short, for whatever reason, always decides to leave his talent at home whenever he goes on screen. I don't know if he needs better direction or a better agent, but needless to say, his scenes do seem to have a--how do I put this?--uh, je-ne-sais-Drop Dead Fred to them.

(Murray starts goofing around, causing the "Trying Too Hard Alert" alarm to go off. He then salutes the examiner before tripping over something)

NC (as Murray): I was on "SCTV". Really!

NC (vo): Cut to three months later--so, present day. Could've saved six letters there--where we see a horse-and-buggy ride driver named Oliver, off to pick up his kids.

(A cat suddenly spooks the horse)

NC (vo): Oh, wait, we have to have this pointless slapstick moment. Oh, wee, ah, I'll bet this leads to nothing and it doesn't. Stupid movie.

Another driver: Looking stressed, today.

Oliver: Just another day.

(Cut to Mara Wilson's character, Anabel, with her brother Charlie, played by Francis Capra)

NC (vo): There's our walking JCPenney's commercial. Yes, Mara Wilson plays a character named Anabel, and this tablescraps of the '90s is her brother named Charlie.

Charlie: Let's just face it. Dad's never gonna come. He left us here to rot.

NC: Oh, please. I've seen more badass '90s kids out of Kazaam. Oh, wait, he was from Kazaam. Allow me to judge this movie particularly harshly and unfairly for that.

NC (vo): They're excited because their father has an audition for a Broadway musical, which appears unlikely seeing how he looks and sounds like a sodomized recording of Dom DeLuise.

(Cut to a few of Oliver's lines)

NC (as Oliver): I got to be half the cast of a Don Bluth movie in an hour.

NC (vo): But who knows? Maybe he has some talent. (Oliver starts singing) Or a good dub-over artist. Really? That's him singing, huh? Yeah. right, that's Cary Elwes in Quest for Camelot. Even Milli Vanilli would call bullshit on this one.

(Oliver finishes)

NC: And for my next audition, I'll sing Charlotte Church and Josh Groban both at the same time. (Holds his mouth open as a duet between the two, singing "The Prayer", plays over him)

NC (vo): So he doesn't get the main role since it's already been promised to a big Broadway star, which leads to the Fairy Godmother Retreat via no segue at all.

Hortence: Hard to believe another year has gone by.

Another fairy: Why do we have to check our wands? Really, I feel naked without mine.

Hortence: Well, it's like in the Old West. All the cowboys have to check their guns before moseying into town especially in Dodge City. And that's why nobody got plugged.

NC (vo): Yes, it's like going to an NRA meeting and checking their rifles.

NC: I'm sure everybody's going to follow that and nothing bad will happen at all.

NC (vo): But one fairy godmother forgets to make it to the retreat. Guess which one that is.

Anabel: You don't look a whole lot like the one in Cinderella.

Murray: Oh, you... You mean the whole guy thing. Can I ask you something? What difference does it really make where the magic comes from?

NC: Indeed, as a middle class white American male, we HAVE been oppresed for too long.

Murray: Boy. This is some swell room. Well, missy. Look at all the gadgets. (Plays with a toy gun and falls down)

(Trying Too Hard Alert)

NC: Step away from the unfunny writing.

Murray: Hello, there. My name is Murray.

NC (vo): So while you might be wondering why he looks like Doctor Who if he graduated from Hogwarts, Murray realizes he's late for the retreat and leaves Anabel, accidentally leaving his magic wand behind, but little does he realize that not showing up might have worked out, for an evil witch, played by Kathleen Turner, shows up and is here to outmug Martin Short as best as she can.

Claudia: Ha! A witch! Moi? You can't be serious. Do I look like a witch?

Rena: Well, you know, you really should leave.

NC (vo): Oh, by the way, yes, that is Teri Garr from Young Frankenstein as the secretary.

NC (as Inga): Roll. Roll. Roll in the lame.

Claudia: I'll go, but before I do, I remember what a healty appetite you have.

NC: Teri Garr and a healty appetite? (Sees a current picture of her) I'm gonna use my Get Out of Joke Free card on this one (which is shown to be modelled after a Monopoly card).

Claudia: I brought you a little something from my garden.

Rena: Oh my. That is the reddest apple I believe I've ever seen.

Claudia: Oh, it tastes even better than it looks.

NC (vo): Yes. When has a woman offering an apple EVER lead to any unpleasantness in past literature?

(Rena passes out)

Claudia: What is with you?

Boots: I've got to pee.

Claudia: But you were just outside.

Boots: I always lose it when I get nervous.

Claudia: I think I liked you better when you were a dog.

NC: Personally, I liked her better when she was a Honey Bunny. She had to pee a lot in that movie, too. Weird connection.

Hortence: Claudia. I took your wand away because you were using it for your own selfish ends. That is not what fairy godmothers are all ABOUT.

NC: We use them to help other peoples' selfish ends.

NC (vo): So Turner...turns her into Jackie Paper just as Garr seems to pointlessly wake up.

Claudia: Now, nothing is wrong.

Rena: (charmed) Nothing is wrong?

Claudia: Everything is perfectly normal. Hortence is flat.

Rena: (charmed) Perfectly normal. Hortence is flat.

(A clip from "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" is shown)

Obi-Wan Kenobi: These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Stormtrooper: These aren't the droids we're looking for.

NC (vo): She locks all the fairy godmothers downstairs and leaves with all the wands. While that's going on, we see Anabel and her father discuss the always important single-parent syndrome that seems to invest most children's fairytales.

Anabel: Dad. Remember how you said when Mommy went to heaven? How she's an angel now?

Oliver: Mm-hm.

Anabel: Were you making that up?

Oliver: Well, I believe that, but I also think that there's a big part of her that's right here.

Anabel: Where?

Oliver: No, I mean I see her when I look at you.

NC (vo): Now, in all fairness, this is not that bad a scene. In fact, a lot of the scenes with Anabel and the father actually work OK. I surprisingly find myself more interested in him getting the part for the play and her connection with him much more interesting than anything else in this movie. (Cut back to Murray) Oh, speaking of which...

NC (as Murray): Hello, I heard you were having a dramatic moment. I'm here to mug it away.

(Murray tries to get a door open)

NC: No no, let me guess. He shows off his funny faces and does something clumsy.

Subtitle: You Have to Ask?

NC: Abraca-fast forward.

NC (vo): We see the next day that Charlie accidentally breaks the wand by crashing into a bunch of boxes.

NC: Yeah. Did you get his license number? Oh, wait, he has a license number. (It's on his backpack. Seriously.) OK, kid, stop turning my jokes into things that exist.

NC (vo): So while drinking her dry ice, Turner realizes that one wand is missing: the one Anabel has of course and in order to rule all the blah blah yadda yadda yadda, she has to find it.

Claudia: Ha, I'm in broad daylight for years. (stops and looks at a mirror) Oh, ha. I love this mirror. (NC is confused at this) Right, Boots! Get changed

NC: Purpose? Can I have some purpose, please?

NC (vo): The hell was the point of that? She liked a mirror, OK. What does that have to do with the story or even the character?

Claudia: I love this mirror.

NC (vo): Do the rulers of darkness just have serious ADD?

(Cut to a clip from "The Smurfs" show)

NC (as Gargamel): I will destroy all the Smurfs with all my magic spells. Mwa ha ha ha! Say, did you know the guy who did the candle from "Beauty and the Beast" was also on "Law and Order"? That's so weird. (Azreal the cat just stares) Mwa ha ha ha ha!

NC (vo): So while at school, Anabel tries to put her wand back together but the teacher is not pleased with her lack of focus. Oh please, it can't be any worse than this (the mirror scene) lack of focus.

Anabel: It's something I have to fix.

Ms. Bramble: That's not our assignment. Hand over your toy.

Anabel: It's not a toy. It's a magic wand.

Ms. Bramble: Now give that to me.

NC: Don't make her go "Matilda" on your ass!

Ms. Bramble: I wish you'd let me have it.

NC: Doh! I can't wait to see what this is building up to.

Anabel: Shaboom! (Tries to cast a spell, but the wand falls apart)

NC: ...Fucking NOTHING!

NC (vo): Come on, that was like a clown being a consultant at a pie factory. Even the obvious payoff would be better than no payoff.

Ms. Bramble: I wish you'd let me have it.

(Anabel then blows up the teacher with the wand)

NC: See, it didn't make sense, but it was something.

NC (vo): So, she leaves the classroom and comes across Murray, who despite seeing that the wand is broken, thinks he can still get it to work.

Anabel: I wish that when my dad sings tonight, he gets the part. So can you do it?

Murray: What? Yes, but not here. You see, the granter of the wish, namely me, has to be within 100 yards of the beneficiary, which is your father.

NC (vo): Jesus, this movie has more rules than a "Dungeons and Dragons" game.

Murray: Try to see it in your head. See the Plaza Hotel.

(Murray casts a spell, wind starts blowing, then a clip of random building collapsing is shown)

NC: OK, that doesn't happen, despite how nice that would be, but...

NC (vo): ...we do see them end up at the Plaza Motel in Nebraska, which is not as impressive.

Anabel: Oh, you're unbelievable. Can't you even admit it?

Murray: Admit what?

Anabel: That you blew it. You totally screwed my wish.

Murray: I did not blow it!

Anabel: You did too.

Murray: Did not!

Anabel: Did too!

Murray: Did not!

NC (vo): OK, as fucking riveting as this dialogue is, why doesn't he just transport them back? Why are they still there, is that ever explained? I mean, we're forty minutes into this clunker and the most magical thing that's happened so far is that WE'VE GONE TO NEBRASKA! Is there anything in this scene that needs to keep us in this location!?

(Suddenly, there's a gunshot)

NC (vo): OK, a possible chance for death, I'm all for that.

Murray: Oh, Roy.

Motel Owner: It ain't Roy!

Anabel: But it says on his shirt.

Motel Owner: It ain't my shirt!

Anabel: So who's Roy?

Motel Owner: Got a brother Roy!

Anabel: Is that his shirt?

Motel Owner: Was. Roy's dead. I needed a clean shirt.

NC (vo): Wonderment! Enchantment! First degree murder over a brother's clean shirt. Look out, Mary Poppins. You've been out-whimsied!

(The owner starts mumbling something incoherently)

Murray: I'll hang on to this. (He starts mumbling back, causing the Trying Too Hard Alert to flash yet again)

NC: OK. Just because it worked in your one-man show doesn't mean it's going to work here. Not everyone has a "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

(Murray gets his wand back)

Motel Owner: Hey, stop right there. What's you gonna do? Wave it around? Turn me into some little bunny rabbit?

Anabel: Do it, Murray. Turn him into a little rabbit.

NC (as Anabel): Fuck him up, Murray! Fuck him up something good!

Murray: Shaboom!

(The owner swirls around in a twister and is transformed into a giant rabbi, which causes the NC to be understandably and visibly shocked. The now-rabbi then stomps on the gas station and chases after them)

NC: (sounding catatonic) What the fuck am I looking at?!

NC (vo): Salvador Dali in his most drunk-induced nightmares couldn't have dreamt this up. Somebody actually wrote this? This isn't a fairytale. It's a stoner's adventure doing mad-libs.

Murray: Shaboom!

(Anabel screams as they are suddenly transported to a seal exhibit in a park, where Murray is hit with a fish)

Anabel: It's my favorite part of Central Park.

NC (vo): I'd ask why they didn't just do that before but then we would've missed out on the "classic" 50-Foot rabbi scene. And lord knows, we wouldn't want to deny cinema that. So they find the father and Murray tries to finally grant the wish.

Murray: Boom!

NC (vo): But then he accidentally turns him into a statue. Um...we are supposed to be rooting for this guy, right? I mean, there's making mistakes and then there's just...admitting these horrible crimes of Hell magic. At what point do you draw the line?

Anabel (vo): I wish that when my dad sings tonight, he gets the part.

NC: Absolutely. Jzoom. Jzoom. Jzoom. Jzoom. BOOM! Oh, I accidentally started "The Hunger Games". I'm so sorry. People dying everywhere. But you know, I'm so quirky!

(Wa wa shrug)

NC (vo): So they head to where the Fairy Godmothers meet so they can figure out how to get their father back, only to find a flattened Judge Doom here.

Judge Doom (vo): Surprised?

Anabel: I tried to keep my wish simple.

Hortence: There's no such thing as a simple wish.

NC: If only that were true.

Hortence: The spell of Murray's: It must be lifted before midnight. After that, your father will most likely remain a statue forever.

Murray: You promised her what?

Anabel: Nothing. I just said we'd get the wands back.

NC (vo): Yeah. Another nice segue. We don't even know WHY getting the wands back will fix everything or WHY they can't just wait for the other one to be fixed or WHY they can't just find another one. I mean, there has to be extras, or WHY THE HELL they can't just unlock the door and ask one of the other fairy godmothers down there to help. In fact, do we ever see them again? I don't think we do. For all we know, they're just left down there starving to death, hanging on to what little life they have.

NC: Good news, fairy godmothers! You're free--dee! (Sees a dark table with skeletons all over it and then closes the "door") 

NC (vo): But they first have to stop the audition of the other singer from going well so that their father can possibly still be considered as a stand-by. Uh, OK, your father's a pigeon toilet right now and may stay like that for the rest of his life. Fuck the audition and focus on bringing back to life, you priority-esqued mental cases!

Murray: Shoom!

NC (vo): Oh, no! It rained a bit and he can still sing. That was pointless. This movie has more padding than a goddamn hockey player.

Murray: Boom!

NC (vo): So he tries another spell to give him a frog in his throat. Literally.

(The singer then throws up a bad CGI frog, and several others after that)

NC (vo): Come on, the pencil sketches for Prince Naveen looked more three-dimensional than those frogs do. But the dog lady finds the two of them and decides to take them to Turner.

Murray: Boots!

Honey-Bunny (from "Pulp Fiction") (voiceover): Any of you fucking pricks move and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

NC (vo): So she takes them to the witch where she forces them into the most evil, disgusting, horrifying torture imaginable.

(Murray and Anabel are being forced to be dressed up in a ballerina dress and to dance to "The Nutcracker")

NC: What?

Anabel: Murray, please help. I don't want to dance. I can't stop.

NC: Somebody help. I'm being slightly inconvenienced.

Murray: Oh, come on, Claudia. This is just demented.

(He is then forced into a ballet outfit and then spun around in the air to the sound of "Dance of the Hours")

NC: Won't anybody stop this...mild nuisance?

Claudia: And we have a fabulous conductor.

(Claudia immediately transforms herself into one)

NC (vo): Oh, no. She's conducting now. The...horror?

Anabel: Help me, Murray!

Murray: Help you? Help me!

NC: Hey, wait a minute. She jump-cut to the conductor, now she's suddenly over there while also being the conductor but then she disappeared for a moment so why is she reappearing right there and ..What did I say earlier?

(Rewinds the review a bit)

Past NC: (sounding catatonic) What the fuck am I looking at?!

NC: Yeah, that's it. WHAT THE FUCK AM I LOOKING AT?!?

(He continues to watch the madness unfold as his screen increasingly shakes faster and faster)

NC: BRAIN RAPE!!! (His brain suddenly explodes)

Murray: Ouch!

Anabel: I give up! I'll tell you everything you want to know!

NC (as Anabel): Just get me a better agent.

NC (vo): But the brother sneaks in and gets them the real magic wand. What follows is a climax of "whimsical effects." I mean, I know nothing can out-do that jump-cut from earlier but still they're pretty impressive for a first-year CG student and Turner accidentally zaps the mirror which...somehow causes her to get sucked into it. Yeah, that was the connection from earlier. Remember how she said "I love this mirror?" That apparently was code for "If I zap this thing, then I'll be entrapped in it for all eternity." You know what would've been more constructive and explanatory?: "Hey, if I zap this thing, then I'll be entrapped in it for all eternity."

NC: Scripts. They're not just for plays anymore.

NC (vo): The wand turns everything back to normal. The singer gets into an accident which means the father gets to perform. Of course he's a big hit, and they all live goddamn-stupid-movie ever after.

NC: So, on a scale of 1 to 10, this blows.

(Footage of the movie plays out as NC speaks)

NC (vo): The story's not very focused, the comedy's not very funny, the characters are not very relatable, and even the effects are ridiculously lame. Granted, some of the scenes between the father and the daughter work, and to her credit, Mara Wilson isn't all that bad in this.

NC: But I'm sorry, I'm just not a fan of her movies! I mean, it's like everything Mara Wilson touched back then just turned to crap! I mean, look at her, with her couch...

(The actual Mara Wilson appears with folded arms and not looking very amused)

NC: ...her modern day haircut, her 25-ish year old body, her...vengeful eyes that seem to be looking directly at me right now-- (recoils in fear)

Mara: Hello, Critic.

NC: Mara Wilson?

Mara: I heard you've been saying some pretty nasty things about me.

NC: Oh, hey, forget it, missy. You knew what you were doing back then as a kid. If you didn't want people like me making fun of your work, you wouldn't have chosen so many crappy movies. I don't care how old you were!

Mara: So you think kids should be held accountable for what they film, no matter what their age?

NC: Damn right, sister!

Mara: (smirks) Because I came across some interesting videos from a little town called Bothell, Washington.

NC: (fearful) ...Bothell, Washington?

Mara: Yes, of a certain internet critic who made movies when he was a young lad.

NC: You're bluffing. You don't really have those videos.

Mara: (looks offscreen) Roll the film.

(We then get a TV static transition to an old video with a young Nostalgia Critic complete with large glasses, braces, and zits)

Young Critic: I am Humpty Dumpty!

(Critic yelps and bites his hand in fear)

(In another old video, Young NC makes a belching noise as he zooms the camera at his face)

Mara: Ah, isn't it wonderful?

(In another old video, Young NC has the camera close to his face as he shakes it and makes odd noises)

NC: Oh, my God, I thought I had these burned!

(We then see several old videos of a young Critic doing some very unusual things)

Young Critic: (wears a coon skin cap) I'll tell you what the problem is.

Young Critic: (has a paper eye taped to his chin and holds the camera close and upside down to give the illusion that his mouth serves as the alien puppet's mouth) We are aliens.

Young Critic: (yells in a high pitch) AAAAHHH!!!!

(Clips from the old videos of young NC's odd and dorky performances intercuts with Mara's speaking)

Mara: Just look at those performances. So restricted. So reserved. Truly the epitome of subtlety.

NC: (holds in his rage and remains calm) Shut up.

Mara: And just look at those glasses. Only a true master of character would wear something so hideously embarrassing. You're a regular Daniel Day Lewis.

NC: Shut up!

Mara: And how brave of you to go with those braces. Tell me, was it meant to look like your teeth were eating over them?


Mara: The acne is a nice touch, too. I bet you purposely never showered just to get that effect.

NC: It was Seattle during the grunge era! None of us did!

Mara: Oh, and you must have been a fan of my work. We had the exact same hairstyle. (An image of young Mara Wilson is placed next to Young NC for a brief comparison)

NC: Damn you, Mara Wilson! Unnatural! Unkind!

Mara: Oh, and how did some of that dialogue go?

NC: (suddenly frowns in horror) No.

Mara: It was brilliant writing.

NC: You wouldn't dare.

Mara: Totally unforgettable.

NC: (pleads) Mara, please!

Mara: (smiles) Ah, now I remember.

(The embarrassing clip is shown)

Young Critic: I like wearing women's clothing. It is fun.

NC: (trying to cover up the footage as Mara watches with a grin) No, damn it! No, you didn't see that! Turn it off! Turn if off!

Young Critic (in drag): Oh, yay, It's family night.

NC: NOOOO!!! My God, how could you be so heartless? How could you be so cruel?! UNHOLY SHE-DEMON!!

Mara: Well, so long, Critic. (NC stares at her in shock and anger) I'm sure now that the public have seen your brilliant choices as a child, they'll be just as accepting as you were of mine.


(As Critic continues to scream, Mara cackles evilly before the screen turns red and her eyes flash white)

Subtitle: Don't Fuck With Mara Wilson


Channel Awesome logo.

Mara: You're a regular Daniel-Day Lewis.

NC: Shut up!

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