Wish Me Luck

1995, Movie, 91 mins

Review

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A nubile genie helps a college nerd lose his virginity in WISH ME LUCK, a soft-porn entry that's so soft, it's flaccid.

Avalon Anders plays the genie from ancient Baghdad whose greatest desire is to be mortal. In order to achieve her mortality, she volunteers to help the child of Sazme (J. Adam Young) and his wife, Tierra (Gloria Pryor), a baby who had been cursed and sent to earth as a mortal many years before by Sazme's brother, Slag (Tom Kane), an evil warlock king. Once on earth herself, Genie discovers that Sazme and Tierra's child has grown up to become Henry (Zen Gesner), a sad-sack junior college student in southern California.

Genie poses as Jeanie, a new student on the college campus, and enrolls with Henry in an astronomy class to be near him. She notices immediately that Henry is unlucky in love and gets bullied constantly by his classmates. To find out more about the other students, Jeanie joins a cheerleading squad and befriends three of her fellow cheerleaders. Eventually, she reveals herself to Henry but asks him to keep her true identity secret.

Meanwhile, Slag travels from Bagdad to offer Jeanie the chance to be his queen if she will give up her mission. But Jeanie continues helping Henry by giving him a makeover and trying to fix him up on a date with Rachael (Christine Harte), the nicest one of her new cheerleader friends. When Randy (Raymond Storti), one of Henry's tormentors, finds out about the date, he pursues Henry, but Henry strikes back and knocks Randy out. This unexpected act of bravery releases Henry from the curse and lands him back in ancient Bagdad where he learns that Sazme and Tierra are his parents. Henry now realizes he loves Jeanie and returns to California. Jeanie, too, realizes her love for Henry and receives her wish to become a mortal.

WISH ME LUCK sounds like silly fun, but it is hard to enjoy a film so completely inept in every way. By comparison, "I Dream of Jeannie" features advanced special effects and sophisticated comic plot turns. About all WISH ME LUCK and the '60s TV classic share are retro male fantasies about scantily-clad young blonde genies helping socially backward men. Even "I Dream of Jeannie" (and for that matter, the TV-movie VENUS OF LOVE with Vanna White and HERCULES IN NEW YORK with Arnold Schwarzenegger) seem somewhat more aware of their camp potential than WISH ME LUCK. The only funny moments come during the end-title sequence, which includes a cookie recipe and a twist on the usual fictional character disclaimer.

Despite a brief display of nudity in a numbingly endless and familiar party sequence, WISH ME LUCK hardly rates as soft-porn or even mildly titillating amusement. Anders, a former Playboy playmate, looks California-girl sexy as the genie, but makes herself less appealing every time she opens her mouth to speak or pulls on her ear (a la Carol Burnett) to grant a wish. And even with glasses and a backward baseball cap, handsome Zen Gesner looks about as un-nerd-like as any actor could be.

It is hard to understand for what audience WISH ME LUCK was meant. It will certainly disappoint anyone looking for either a light erotic comedy or even just a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes. (Nudity, sexual situations, substance abuse, extreme profanity.) leave a comment

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