“The Fairy” is a slight, silly, joyous trifle that is alternately enchanting and annoying. But more enchanting. Mostly. Fiona Gordon (the Fairy) and Dominique Abel (the guy who gets three wishes) are apparently well known in the European neo-vaudevillian world (who knew?) and their command of physical comedy is delightful and impressive.
Dom’s opening trials in getting to work in the rain on his beat up bicycle immediately establish him as the kind of guy who needs a wish-granting fairy. He works the night shift at a small motel that wouldn't be out of place in a Jacques Tati movie and, really, the entire film owes a great big thank you to Monsieur Tati. Fiona arrives in the middle of the night and offers to grant Dom three wishes. He doesn't seem to find this at all strange and immediately asks for a scooter and a lifetime supply of free gas (The withholding of the third wish becomes a way to keep the gag going).
The physical humor is exquisite and there is an underwater dance bit that’s especially fun and creatively choreographed. So is Fiona really a fairy who grants wishes? Well, Dom does get his scooter and lifetime supply of free gas….sort of. But after the fact it’s not a huge surprise to find Fiona safely back in the psych ward across the way from the motel. Nor are we surprised when Dom shows up to spring her. What is surprising is how he does it.
The film is really an excuse for Fiona and Dominique to string together several set pieces that vary in effectiveness. Fiona stealing the dress right off the mannequin in the shop window is hysterically funny and her mad dash out of the shoe store in stolen running shoes is also hilarious. Less effective was Fiona and Dom chasing the car with their baby sliding around on the back although Buster Keaton would have approved.
“The Fairy” is colorful, ridiculous, impossible, and a lovely evening’s entertainment. You’ll want a fairy, too.