Top positive review
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WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR...
on 8 April 2003
This is a very enjoyable comedy, starring the irrepressible Whoopi Goldberg in the role of Edwina "Eddie" Franklin, the widow of a New York City police officer. Following in her late husband's footsteps, she coaches basketball for inner city kids. She is also the number one fan for the New York Knicks, a team that, despite the talent on it, can't seem to win a game. Eddie loves the team, no matter what, and can be seen high up in the rafters of every Knicks game, rabidly and raucously cheering them on.
When "Eddie" wins the honorary coach for the day contest at one of the Knicks' games, she manages to get thrown off the court by the head coach (Dennis Farina), when she protests a ref's call. This causes the fans to go wild, chanting her name as she leaves the court. When the head coach for the Knicks gets fired by the team's owner, Wild Bill Burgess (Frank Langella in a ten gallon hat), he hires "Eddie" as an interim head coach, as it seems that fans of the Knicks love "Eddie" and respond to her very positively. After all, she was one of them. Burgess, however, has no expectations of "Eddie's" ability to coach the team. "Eddie", however, aims to do everything she can to bring the Knicks out of their slump. For her, this is a dream come true.
This is a feel good sort of movie. Whoopi is very funny , as she goes about setting right what has gone wrong with the team. Frank Langella is terrific as the deal making team owner whose folksy manner belies the fact that he has his eye on the bottom line. Dennis Farina is credible as the head coach with a mouth as big as his monumental ego. While the film is fairly predictable, it is quite enjoyable. The viewer is also treated to a few fun cameos by Donald Trump, sports announcer Marv Alpert, and former NBA star, Walt Frazier. If you are not a big fan of basketball, however, deduct one star from my rating.