Three Wishes - * * 1/2*

Family film that meanders along happily until it hits a contrived ending. The year is 1955 and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is a widowed mother of two sons who accidentally hits mysterious drifter Patrick Swayze with her car, breaking his leg. She offers the drifter and his magical dog a place to stay until his leg heals. Naturally, the drifter begins to bond with the widow and her boys, Joseph Mazello and Seth Mumy. The eldest boy, Mazello, desperately wants a father; the youngest is continually frightened and sick. The drifter seems to fill a gap in all their lives…but is their new relationship destined to drift away, or is another type of magic at work. Three Wishes is light and entertaining. The performances are perfunctory…the writing and direction are adequate. Nothing surprising happens, but overall it is enjoyable to watch. The ending veers a bit too much into wish-fulfillment, and resolves its central conflict with a stretch of imagination.

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