Wish Upon a Star

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This article is about the 1996 film. For the Steve Miller Band song, see Book of Dreams.
Wish Upon a Star
Wish Upon a Star.jpg
Directed by Blair Treu
Written by Jessica Barondes
Starring Katherine Heigl
Danielle Harris
Don Jeffcoat
Scott Wilkinson
Lois Chiles
Music by Moonpools & Caterpillars
Production
  company
Leucadia Film Corporation
Cinar
PorchLight Entertainment
Distributed by Disney Channel
Release date(s) November 12, 1996 (U.S.)
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Wish Upon a Star is a 1996 television film directed by Blair Treu, written by Jessica Barondes, and starring Katherine Heigl and Danielle Harris. It focuses on two teenage sisters that magically swap bodies because of a wish made on a shooting star. They spend several days living each other's life, sometimes with the intent to sabotage the other's reputation and achievements, but they learn to appreciate and help each other along the way. The tagline to this movie is "I Wish I May, I Wish I Might, Become My Sister For A Night!"[1]

Plot[edit]

The two Wheaton sisters share a household and a high school, but both feel that they have little else in common. 18-year old Alexia's (Katherine Heigl) days revolve around being popular, dressing stylishly, and spending time with her jock boyfriend, while exerting minimal effort academically. While 15-year old Hayley (Danielle Harris) is socially reserved, admiring her older sister's popularity from a distance while excelling in her studies, particularly science and mathematics. Hayley and Alexia don't get along well at all, with Hayley resenting her reliance on her frequently late sister for a ride to school and Alexia preferring not to be seen with her less-than-cool younger sister.

One night, Hayley is outside studying the night sky for her science class, while Alexia relaxes in the outdoor hot tub with her boyfriend, Kyle (Don Jeffcoat). When Hayley sees a shooting star, she wishes aloud to become her sister Alexia, then turns to see Alexia also watching the sky. The two of them awaken the next morning to find themselves trapped in each other's body. Hayley assumes responsibility for the swap, mentioning her wish.

Distraught, Alexia forbids Hayley to go to school in her place, and she instigates a variety of wish-making attempts for Hayley to reverse their condition, all of which are unsuccessful. Hayley is content to fill her sister's role for the day, as she can now experience the glamor of Alexia's life firsthand.

After the first day ends, they realize that they may be stuck like this for a while. They each spend the next few days purposely trying to ruin anything important to the other, such as their social reputation and extra-curricular activities. One day, Hayley (in Alexia's body) wears the same outfit that she had worn the day before, and Alexia (in Hayley's body) goes to school dressed up as a dominatrix.

Their parents choose not to interfere, as they had just started a "hands-off" approach to parenting. Eventually Hayley and Alexia learn to look at their lives with new perspective. As they each become accustomed to the other's life, they begin to relate to one another better and become closer as sisters.

While spending an evening outside searching for a shooting star to make their wish to switch back, they decide to spend one more day as each other. Hayley's task (in Alexia's body) is to help convince her teachers that Alexia is not an "airhead," and Alexia (in Hayley's body) is to help show Hayley how easily Hayley can get a guy.

Hayley's and Alexia's plans work, and they decide that it's time for them to switch back. As they lay outside watching for a shooting star, they fall asleep early; Hayley wakes up during the night in time to wish on a star. When she awakens the next morning, she finds that they didn't switch back and believes that they will never be able to return to their own bodies, but she doesn't tell Alexia.

Alexia and Hayley attend the Winter Festival dance, where Hayley breaks down and tells Alexia that they can't switch back. Alexia then confesses that she saw the first shooting star when she was with Kyle and wished to be Hayley, since she had been jealous of Hayley's intellect and well-structured plans for her future.

Realizing that it was their combined wishing that caused their switch, they sit outside and, seeing a shooting star, wish together to be themselves again. Opening their eyes, they are delighted to see their wish has come true. They return to the Winter Festival, where Alexia is crowned queen. She then dances on stage with her boyfriend, while Hayley finds their new neighbor Simon and dances with him.

Production[edit]

This movie was filmed at Hunter High School in West Valley City, Utah. Their school was the Hunter Vikings, but the real Hunter High are the Wolverines. The real Hunter High basketball team was the opposing team in the basketball game and were called the Wolverines. The movie was filmed in late 1995 and early 1996, which is why snow is present in some shots and Danielle Harris has visible breath when opening the door. Moonpools & Caterpillars was the rock band featured in the movie at the Winter Festival Dance. The movie shares similar elements with many other films also featuring the FreakyFridayFlip television trope.

In August 15, 2002, the movie re-aired in Disney Channel which had 3.4 million viewers.

Cast[edit]

  • Katherine Heigl - Alexia "Ally" Wheaton, the sister of Hayley, who is in Alexia's body.
  • Danielle Harris - Hayley Wheaton, the sister of Alexia, who is in Hayley's body.
  • Don Jeffcoat - Kyle Harding, Alexia's Boyfriend
  • Scott Wilkinson - Benjamin "Ben" Wheaton
  • Mary Parker Williams - Nan Wheaton
  • Lois Chiles - Principal Mittermiller
  • Ivey Lloyd - Caitlin Sheinbaum
  • Matt Barker - Simon
  • Jacque Gray - Kazumi

Reception[edit]

The film has received a generally positive rating from Fox Weekly, giving the film an 8 out of 10.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wish Upon a Star". IMDb. 1996. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ "Review: ‘Wish Upon a Star’ (1996)". Fox Weekly. 1996. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

External links[edit]