How many times a day do you make wishes? Once or twice? Half a dozen or more? Maybe you're not constantly saying, "I wish I had a million dollars!"...but you might wish to yourself that your crush would notice you, or that your parents would stop arguing, or that you hadn't just eaten that Pigout Deluxe Burrito at the mall. Most of us wish constantly, quietly, for one thing or another. And we don't really expect or try to make them come true.
The new movie "Shorts," written and directed by Robert Rodriguez ("The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl" and the "Spy Kids" movies), takes a look at what might happen if anyone's wishes could be granted -- literally and instantly. When a mysterious "wishing rock" appears in narrator Toby Thompson's neighborhood, chaos ensues. The chaos is funny, wacky, and gross, yet also hits close to home; it's the kind that even your mom or dad will chuckle at.
In addition to the comedy, cool visuals, and great cast, we like how the story touches on some bigger issues such as family relationships, bullying, and the role of technology in our lives. Most of the characters make their first wishing rock request by expressing their deepest desire. Lonely Toby wishes for friends as unique as he is; meanie Helvetica (whose name we love so much, we almost wrote this in the Helvetica font) wishes her dad would listen to her; Nose wishes his frustrated father's inventions would work; and Toby's mom wishes she and her husband were closer (instead of texting each other while they're in the same room!). It's through these wishes that the heart of "Shorts" comes through. If we could, we'd grab the wishing rock and wish this heart came through a little stronger and didn't feel quite so tacked-on.
But it sure is fun to come out of this movie and talk to a friend, a parent, or whoever about what you would do with the wishing rock. Would you go for the instant gratification? Would you wish for something for yourself, or for others? How would you phrase a wish so it wouldn't backfire? Tell us!
IML's Rating: B+