Sunday 8 July 2012

Wish Inc (2011)

Director: Diane Dresback
Stars: Stephanie Mello, Kane Black and Bivás Biswas
This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in Phoenix in 2012. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012 films.
Like many of the films that made the cut for the Arizona Shorts selection at this year's Phoenix Film Festival, Wish Inc was was made for a film challenge. A3F, the Almost Famous Film Festival, has an annual Musical Film Challenge in which teams are given 72 hours to make a short film. In 2011, the restrictions were to centre around a broken promise, include both a coin toss and a specific line of dialogue, and also feature at least one musical moment. Director Diane Dresback created Wish Inc with a team that were all over the Phoenix Film Festival this year. No wonder she won an award for Arizona Filmmaker of the Year. Lead actress Stephanie Mello was producer and assistant director on Awesome Guy: A New Identity, whose director, Bob Marquis, plays her husband in Wish Inc. Bivás Biswas played the Wish Master but also directed Paranoia, written by Dresback and starring James Ray, another Wish Inc actor. Maybe Dresback is really Kevin Bacon.

The Wish Inc of the title is a corporation that grants wishes, a pretty cool thing for a corporation to do in this day and age, you might think. However, when Hope signs up to join the company, she finds that it isn't quite that simple. Her job seems to be easy, merely to read coins tossed into wishing wells, approve or deny their wishes and then send them back to Accounting. What she discovers, when the all powerful Wish Master summons her, is that wishes can't always be granted, that wishing won't change the world and that wishing and hoping aren't the same thing. But she's Hope, right? How the story unfolds from there is not entirely unexpected but ought to raise a smile nonetheless, even if, like me, you're not a fan of musical comedy. Mello is superb and the script and cast back her up well. Even the songs aren't overly cheesy. It's an ambitious film for a 72 hour challenge but it's a successful one too.

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