If I remember correctly, my brother and I had an unspoken rule where we had to watch the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) Wish Upon A Star whenever it was on TV. This was one of the earlier, 90’s DCOMs, but it was oh so good. The story was simple, concise, and intriguing for young minds like ours.
The story takes place in Colorado suburbia. They never actually address the fact that they’re in Colorado, but I’ve studied the license plates on the cars in the movie. The scene is set–two sisters wake up at roughly the same time. The younger one, Hayley, wears baggy clothes, doesn’t care about how she looks, and loves science. Hayley’s older sister Alexia, or Alex for short, takes her sweet time getting ready. She shaves her legs every morning, no hair on her head is out of place, she wears new outfits every day, and calls her parents by their first names. Oh, and she’s also played by Katherine Heigl. I KNOW.
Their parents are psychologists who worry about the well being of their daughters. They prove this to the audience by showing both of them reading separate copies of the same issue of Psychology Today. Like, okay we get it. They’re also concerned about how much their daughters fight. But they make a decision not to interfere with punishment, knowing that it will only stoke the fire.
That night when the girls come home from school, Alex brings her boyfriend home to hot tub with and eventually break his heart. Hayley has her best friend over and they daydream about how cute Alex’s bf is. That night, Hayley and Alex see a shooting star at the same time and both wish to be each other. Very Freaky Friday-esque. The next morning, they have switched bodies and the fun begins.
Hayley, now Alex, has to fit in with the popular girls, not eat breakfast, and finds out that last night she broke up with the boy she loves. Meanwhile Alex, now Hayley has to take an astronomy exam (what high school has an astronomy class?) which she faints to get out of and goes home.
The Hayley in Alex’s body gets back together with her ex, Kyle, breaks some nails by actually playing sports in gym, and almost crashing the Jeep because she doesn’t have her license. YIKES. When Alex finds out everything that Hayley has done to ruin her practically perfect life, she declares war the next day. This is where even more fun begins.
Alex dresses Hayley up in this stripper dominatrix pleather outfit for school. And Hayley as Alex wears the same outfit that she wore yesterday and doesn’t shower or brush her hair *gasp*. I don’t know who looks worse for wear. They continue the battle until they both get kicked out of school (I think?) and then they have to figure out how to get along in each other’s bodies before the big formal dance.
Hayley has to take college interviews in her sister’s body, meanwhile Alex has to learn everything she can about Hayley’s science fair entry and present it for her. They work together and by the time the formal rolls around, they’ve wished on a new shooting star and switched bodies again. Who knew shooting stars were so common and powerful?
One thing that I really liked about this movie was that the entire soundtrack was Moonpools and Catepillars. Their song is playing in the first scene of the movie, and Alex in Hayley’s body is watching their music video when she stays home sick, and later at the formal they perform live. LIKE WHAT. My high school had so much money but we couldn’t even afford live performers so how could they? I don’t understand. Moonpools and Catepillars‘ album “Lucky Dumpling” is pretty good actually. I’m particularly fond of the songs “Hear” and “Colossal Youth”. You can watch the entire movie on youtube!