The film opens with a voiceover by Toe (Toby) Thompson (Jimmy Bennett) as the screen pans over the small town of Black Falls.
The voiceover continues, talking about the town and its inhabitants. One neighbor seems to be a massive germ-o-phobe with his house covered completely in plastic and everyone wears HAZMAT suits while out of the house. A view of another house shows a mysterious, pig-tailed character’s shadow as she walks past the house’s windows. Then we see the Thompson household, with Toe Thompson (Jimmy Bennett) playing Pokemon cards with his imaginary friends.
It turns out that the town belongs to Black Box Worldwide Incorporated (or Black Inc). The employees of the corporation live with their families in Black Falls, and go to work in a large cube-like building in the center of town.
Black Inc. produces the all-in-one Black Box, a cube-like device that can transform into, and do pretty much anything (e.g., vacuum, cell phone, fan, nose-hair trimmer, etc.)
Cut to the owner of Black Inc., Carbon Black (James Spader) in a conference with his employees. He wants a Black Box to be in every house, but other products are competing. Those that question Mr. Black are immediately fired. Black announces the Project X upgrade, which will effectively shut down its competitors. Black orders the leaders of team A and team B to find a way to do this, and whichever one succeeds first makes partner, the loser is fired however, the leaders of team A and B are married to each other, and are also Toe’s mom (Leslie Mann), and dad (Jon Cryer).
Toe continues his monologue and mentions the key to Black’s success would fall into Toe’s hands. Cut to a series of incoherent flashes of images before Toe mentions that what comes next is so confusing that he has to break them down into a series of “shorts” to tell the viewer the whole story.
From here, the story is split up into a series of short sequences that are not actually in order, each detailing a different character’s experience with the wishing stone. The first one starts with Toe.
Toe continues his narrative as he wakes up in the morning and obsessively brushes his teeth and braces. He goes downstairs to join his parents and sister for breakfast, bickering a bit with his sister. His mother asks him about his friends (or lack thereof), and why he no longer spends time with his friend, Nose. Stacey notes that Toe has lots of friends, but by “friends,” she means bullies.
Toe arrives at school and is immediately confronted by the school bullies, lead by two of Mr. Black’s children: Helvetica (Jolie Vanier) and Cole (Devon Gearhart) Black, and Helvetica is the leader of the pack. Toby tries to avert the usual punishment of being dumped into a trash bin by explaining that Helvetica has a crush on him. This doesn’t work, and he gets shoved headfirst into a trash bin.
Later, Toe shoes up late to science class. Loogie is at the front giving a presentation and doing a poor job. While Loogie is still speaking, Toe states that he doesn’t really have any friends in class, with the exception of a black goldfish in the class fish tank. The teacher accuses Loogie of not doing his homework, but Loogie claims that an alligator ate it (important later).
Helvetica is up next and gives a presentation on wasp and how the females are the dominant of the species, and will shove males into an empty hive comb to show dominance. She then “asks” for a volunteer to demonstrate and immediately points to Toe.
After class, Toe is sitting behind the school, moping. Loogie shows and sits next to Toe, offering him a chocolate bar and they spend a few moments watching two kids having a staring contest. Loogie then tells Toe that he should stand up to Helvetica and not let people bully him. Loogie says that’s how he lives his life, but is immediately undermined when his two brothers show and drag him off to take care of their baby sister. As Loogie is being dragged off, a lot of chocolate bars fall out of his pockets, an impossible number of them.
Toe walks home but runs into the bullies led by Cole Black. They end up chasing him through a construction area and Toe takes refuge behind a pile of dirt. Unfortunately, the bullies find him and he tries to escape by climbing up a tree. The bullies throw stones at him and when Cole runs out of stones, one of his goons finds the wishing stone and hands it to him. Cole hits Toe in the head with the stone, knocking him out of the tree. The bullies flee as Toe recovers and finds the stone. Holding the stone, Toe hears a voice whispering, telling him to make a wish. Toe wishes that he had friends as strange and unique as he is, the stone glows and all of a sudden, four tiny flying saucers descend upon him.
The flying saucers follow him home and Toe decides to hide them from his family by putting them in his backpack.
Toe finds his parents bickering with each other while they work intently on their Black boxes. Stacey is upset that she broke up with her boyfriend because she finds him immature. While this is happening, the aliens have left the backpack and started watching the cooking channel. Toe hears the noise and goes into the kitchen to investigate and sees that the aliens have cooked him a bunch of delicious looking dishes for him.
In the dining room, Toe’s parents get a transmission from Mr. Black, who asks for a progress report regarding their work on the next Black box upgrade, as well as inviting them to the company’s costume ball. As he hangs up, Mr. Black tells his assistant that he will fire one of them at he party to motivate the other. On the other end, Toe’s parents have anticipated this as well.
Toe returns to his room to find that the aliens are quickly cleaning it up and asks if they clean teeth as well. The aliens do one better and fix his teeth and remove his braces. While Toe is occupied, Stacey comes into his room looking for her car keys while on the phone with her recently dumped boyfriends. While searching, Stacey picks up the stone and says that she wishes her boyfriend would grow up. Stacey hears her boyfriend saying some weird things about his arms growing and not being able to fit in his room, but dismisses it as him being immature and just hangs up, finds her keys, and leaves.
Meanwhile, Toe asks the aliens for help with his bully problem. One of the aliens comes out of his ship and he appears to be tiny (thumb-sized). Toe notes that they may be a little too small to do anything, but the alien demonstrates remarkable strength, knocking Toe over with a single tap.
The next day, Toe goes to school and is once again stopped by the bullies. Just as Helvetica is about to make fun of him, he surprises her with his newly corrected teeth and walks off.
Later, Toe goes to science class and instructs his alien friends to wait and supplies them with chocolate bars and an mp3 player in case they get bored. During class, the aliens get bored and turn up the music, disrupting class. As Toe struggles to turn off the mp3 player, a suspicious Helvetica tries to see what is happening. In his struggle with the aliens, Toe knocks Helvetica away, angering her. In revenge, Helvetica grabs the black goldfish and proceeds to eat it.
Toe yells at Helvetica to spit out the fish, startling the teacher who was conducting a rather volatile experiment. A big explosion occurs as Toe knocks Helvetica over, either to protect her from the blast or to save the fish. The fish is tossed back into the fish tank, apparently unharmed while Toe and Helvetica are taken to the hospital.
The aliens leave the classroom and start harassing Cole and the other bullies.
Toe and Helvetica are now in the hospital, both in full arm casts due to their injuries. Loogey visits Toe and asks him what happened. Toe tells him everything and that he thought the aliens were his friends. The aliens are at the window ledge, listening, and say that Toe has friends all around him; he just hasn’t realized it yet.
Sometime later, Toe and Helvetica are in the school cafeteria, trying in vain to eat lunch with their cast encased arms. Helvetica laughs as Toe ends up throwing food into his own face and Toe challenges Helvetica to do better. Helvetica proceeds to eat her lunch using her feet as hand (Loogie), but also notes that it is also Loogie’s fault that all this has happened. This cuts to the next short.
Loogie’s Story: Loogie, his two brothers and his sister are at home during a storm. His brothers are content playing video games but Loogie wants to go on an adventure. As the storm rages overhead, the stone falls from the sky and hits the ground somewhere nearby. Loogie decides to go out to see what’s happening and realizes that its become very sunny outside, no traces of the storm, and there is even a rainbow. Loogie uses a Black box and turns it into a baby monitor, and then he and his brothers set off to find out what is at the end of the rainbow, expecting a pot of gold.
Loogie and his brother’s stumble upon the wishing stone and Loogie picks it up, not knowing what it is. Holding the stone, Loogie wishes he knew what it was and a huge instruction manual falls from the sky. Loogie wishes for a smaller version and it tells him to just make a wish. Loogie wishes for a never-ending supply of chocolate bars and so his pockets are always full of them.
Loogie realizes that people will want to get their hands on the stone and wishes for a fortress with which to hide and protect it, along with a moat with alligators and poisonous snakes.
Loogie’s brothers suggest wishing for something that will benefit everyone, like ending hunger or global warming. The three brothers end up fighting over the stone and it gets thrown into the canyon, rolls into the moat, and devoured by a gator.
Loogie and his brother’s try to get the stone back but Loogie’s brother falls into a pit of cobras while Loogie jumps into the gator and is swallowed. While in the gator’s stomach, Loogie makes a wish to escape and is immediately spit out, as well as wishing away the cobras to save his brother.
Unfortunately for the brothers, while the gator had the stone in his stomach, it made a wish to become bipedal. The swarm of gators chase after the brothers. Cornered, Loogie makes a desperate wish to escape which results in a pterodactyl carrying all three boys to the top of Loogie’s tower. As the brothers try to figure out what to do next, the gators start climbing up the tower and Loogie’s brother suggests wishing for psychic powers and Loogie wishes for “telephonesis” which results in him having a large red telephone embedded in his skull. Loogie tries again and this time successfully wishes for telekinesis and uses his powers to knock away all the gators. Now safe, Loogie wishes them back home to start over and to decide what to do next.
At home, Loogie and his brother’s want to use the stone for good, but decide that they would probably screw up, so Loogie wishes for one of them to be super smart, but the one that gets the super intelligence is their baby sister. Loogie’s sister is now able to talk to them via thought and tells them to be careful.
Loogie and his brother’s decide that it is probably safer to get rid of the stone and one of the brothers wishes for a catapult. At the last minute, Loogie reconsiders and believes that they can make a beneficial wish for all of humanity, like world peace… but the catapult is triggered and the stone is cast away. It turns out that Loogie’s sister used her mind powers to launch it away, having calculated that her brothers would have found a way to screw it up.
The stone ends up where Toe finds it.
Nose’s Story: Nose Noseworthy was Toe’s best friend until his dad developed a severe phobia of germs. Dr. Noseworthy (William H. Macy) never leaves the house and goes to extreme lengths to make sure there aren’t any germs in the house (i.e., hazmat suits, antiseptic sprays and wipes, decontamination shower at the front door, etc.)
Nose goes into his father’s lab to look for a scientific calculator, but Dr. Noseworthy notices that Nose is picking his, well, nose. After a bit of chastising, he tells Nose to just use the Black Box, as it has a calculator function too, but Nose says that it doesn’t have much battery life (all those functions are draining it). Dr. Noseworthy goes back to work, leaving Nose to meet his tutor, Stacey. Before Nose leaves, he picked his nose and accidentally flicked a fragment of snot/booger onto one of his dad’s inventions (important later).
Stacey arrives at the front door and notices the multicolored stone on the front lawn; she picks it up and takes it with her into the house. After a lengthy decontamination process, she meets Nose and gives him the stone.
Nose asks Stacey how it’s like on the outside, as he is afraid to leave the house due to his shared phobia of germs. Stacey tries to persuade him that the outside world isn’t as dangerous as he thinks, but Nose isn’t convinced. While holding the stone, Nose wishes that his dad’s inventions would work like they’re suppose to, and the stone grants his wish. Back in Dr. Noseworthy’s lab, the piece of snot inside his machine begins to grow at an accelerated rate.
A moment later, the doorbell rings and Toe and Loogie are there, looking for the stone. Over the security monitor, Toe asks if Nose has seen the stone, but Nose is still bitter about Toe no longer visiting, and says that he hasn’t seen anything. As they bicker, the booger is getting larger and even develops eyes and limbs. Nose goes to check out the noise while the two boys outside suspect that Nose is lying, and decide to break into the house via a side window. Inside, Dr. Noseworthy discover the two boys and tries to decontaminate them. Suddenly, the door to Dr. Noseworthy’s lab breaks down and a fully formed snot monster attacks them. Toe spots the wishing stone in Nose’s possession and tries to take it back, but in the struggle, the stone is thrown at the snot monster and is promptly eaten.
Dr. Noseworthy tells everyone to get out of the house while he goes back to his lab to find something to defeat the monster. Stacey and Loogey make it to the door and are stuck in the decontamination booth until it finishes. The snot monster is about to devour Toe but stops when Nose threatens to eat one of his own boogers, thus holding it hostage. The snot monster hesitates and Toe takes the opportunity to push into the monster’s stomach and retrieves the stone. Everyone gets outside, with the monster right behind them, but Dr. Noseworthy chases out after them and traps the monster inside a shrinking device/vacuum cleaner.
In the chaos of the chase, Nose had fallen into a puddle of mud and appears to be in shock, but it turns out that he’s just afraid to breathe non-filtered/sterilized air. After a few moments of persuading, Nose finally takes a breath and realizes that the outside isn’t quite as lethal as he thought.
At this point, Toe points out that once again, he has told the story out of order, and proceeds to tell how the stone came to arrive at Nose’s front lawn and how it affected his parents.
Mom and Dad Thompson’s story: This story begins with Toe’s mom and dad preparing to attend Mr. Black’s costume party. Mom notes that she and her husband aren’t as connected as they once were, and longingly recalls their honeymoon and when they use to do yoga together. Mom and Dad talk and are about to kiss, but are interrupted by incoming calls on their Black Boxes. Helvetica makes a video call to Toe and tells him not to go to the costume party, even though it is pretty evident that she wants him to go.
Mom goes to Toe’s room to say goodnight and sees him sleeping. Mom spot’s the last message Toe received on his Black Box and is curious about her son’s social life. She is about to take her husband’s suggestion of just spying on their kids but Toe wakes up and mom grabs something and puts it in her purse, saying that she was just getting something she inadvertently picked up the wishing stone.
Later, Loogie calls Toe and asks about the multi-colored stone after seeing the aliens and realizing the Toe probably has it. Toe looks for the stone and figures out that his mom took it.
Outside Mr. Black’s house, Mom digs through her purse for lipstick and grabs the stone instead. She remarks that she wished that she and her husband were more connected and they are suddenly fused at the hip, forming a three-legged Siamese twin.
Freaked out, mom and dad dive for the bushes and mom drops her purse. Helvetica answers the door and sees no one, but spots the purse and takes it inside. In the bushes, mom and dad are trying to figure out what happened and realize that it was the stone that granted the wish.
Toe shows up at the house and tries to get the purse from Helvetica, but she beats him over the head. Mr. Black comes out to see what’s happening and Helvetica makes some excuse about Toe coming over to tutor her. Mr. Black tells Helvetica to get Toe some ice for his head wound and leaves. While nursing his bruise, Toe grabs the stone and tries to leave, but Helvetica doesn’t want him to. During their struggle, Toe reveals that it’s a wishing stone, just as Cole shows up and dumps Toe into a trash bin. Upset at what Cole did, Helvetica uses to the stone and wishes Cole into a dung beetle.
Mom and Dad see this and figure that they must retrieve the stone to change themselves back.
Meanwhile, Toby is stumbling about with a trashcan over his head and bumps into Helvetica and the stone is tossed into the main hall. Toe and Helvetica run after it.
In the main hall, Mr. Black is giving a speech and commends Mom and Dad for their work. The stone had dropped onto an h’ordeuvre tray and Mr. Black picks it up just as he says that he wished everyone else had the “cut-throat” spirit needed for business. This causes everyone to try to strangle each other and in the ensuing chaos, the stone is dropped to the floor.
At this point, Mom, Dad, Toe, and Helvetica all dive for the stone. Helvetica gets to it first and shows it to her dad, claiming that they can have everything they ever wanted. Mr. Black dismisses this and chastises Helvetica for ruining his party, telling her to go to her room. Helvetica is angered and wished that her dad would listen only to her for once. This causes his ears to grow very large and he seems to be only able to hear Helvetica. She then wishes for her casts to be off, inadvertently removing Toe’s as well, but she wishes them back on just to torment him, and then she wishes for a rocket bike. Toe tries to calm her and tells that he knows how she feels, that he knows what it’s like to be alone, and that he is her friend. Helvetica claims that she doesn’t need friends, and rides off in her bike.
Helvetica doesn’t get very far and crashes, causing the stone to fly back into Mr. Black’s house and Toe gets his hands on it and wishes for things to go back to normal Mr. Black’s ears return to normal, Cole returns to human form, people stop fighting, and Mom and Dad are no longer fused at the hip.
Helvetica gets back to the house and demands that Toe give the stone back to her. Toe refuses and throws the stone as far as possible and then runs off. Mr. Black is intrigue by this and asks Helvetica where the stone is, who tells him Toe threw it away. The stone ends up landing on Nose’s front lawn.
This part of the story ends and now we get to the conclusion, which takes places after Toe and his friends escape from the snot monster.
Conclusion: Toe, Loogie and his brothers and Nose are now in possession of the stone and are deciding what to do next. Suddenly, Cole tackles Toe and the stone flies into Helvetica’s hands. Everyone struggles for the stone when a bunch of black SUVs show up, along with Mr. Black, in pursuit of the stone.
Mr. Black tells Helvetica to get the stone and she lunges at Loogie. Loogie panics and wishes himself into a bird to escape, but ends up dropping the stone. Loogie’s brother grabs the stone and runs into one of the houses with everyone else chasing after him. Cornered inside the house, Loogie’s brother wishes for longer arms and he gets long rubber arms, keeping the stone away from everyone’s reach. Helvetica runs up the stairs and takes the stone from him and wishes herself to be invisible and escapes.
Everyone runs out after the invisible Helvetica but they can’t find her. Loogie’s brother accidentally latches onto her with his tentacle like arms and wishes himself back to normal. Helvetica pretends to be attracted to him, but while he’s distracted, she punches him in the face, grabs the stone, and runs off.
Mr. Black gets the stone from Helvetica and becomes drunk with power. He fires everyone and wishes for a massive pile of money. He claims that he doesn’t need the Black Box because the wishing stone can do anything he wants. Mr. Black invites his kids to join him but Helvetica realizes that she needs to stop her father and says, “you must be joking,” to which Mr. Black replies, “I wish I were,” this causes his last wish to disappear and he falls onto the ledge of his Black Box headquarters.
One of Mr. Black’s goons picks up the stone and is about to use it but Helvetica grabs it from him and wishes him into a giant hotdog/wiener, and he rolls down the street. Stacey’s ex-boyfriend shows up, now the size of a skyscraper and helps Mr. Black down in exchange for $10.
Mr. Black gets the stone back and wishes to become the most powerful man in the world, fusing himself with his Black Box, turning into a giant transforming robot.
Helvetica says that everyone has to try using the stone to stop Mr. Black and she transforms into a giant wasp before giving the stone to Cole. Cole transforms himself into a giant dung beetle and joins his sister in the fight. Toe wishes for a lot more of his alien friends to help and a swarm of mini flying saucers show up to fight Mr. Black. Loogie wishes for his army of bipedal alligators to attack Mr. Black.
The fight continues and Loogie’s baby sister wheels herself to the scene and is about to be crushed by a falling alligator, but she uses her psychic powers to stop everything.
Loogie’s sister explains (via thought) that they have angered to wishing stone with their greed and selfishness, and if this continues, it will destroy the earth. She goes on to say that all these wishes are draining the stone of its power and the wishes begin to wear off, with everyone returning to normal.
She says that they must get rid of the stone or risk the destruction of earth. Just then, Dr. Noseworthy comes out with one of his inventions, an energy amplifying gel made out of germs. Everyone grabs a glop of the gel and joins hands, and together, they wish away the stone. The stone vanishes in a colorful explosion and forms a rainbow.
As things return to relative normality, Mom and Dad confront Mr. Black and tell him that they will help him rebuild his company, but they refuse to work against each other, they will work as a team.
Epilogue: Helvetica and Toe make peace and become friends. Mom and Dad relive their honeymoon, doing yoga and reconnecting with one another. Nose and his dad work together on one of his inventions. Mr. Black and Dad become friends and Toe notes that this might be a good thing, as they may become family someday. Helvetica says that she never agreed to that. The Black box is redesigned to be more environmentally friendly, now called the “Green Box.”
The seven kids (Toe, Loogie, his brothers, Nose, Cole, and Helvetica) walk off towards the sun, forming silhouettes and one of them wishes that they were in a Hollywood movie….
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