Sunday, September 18, 2016

Movie Review: Practical Magic

Practical Magic
DiNovi Pictures, Fortis Films, Stargate Studios, Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros., USA, 1998. 

Based on Alice Hoffman's novel. 

The women of Owens family have been witches for centuries. The villagers have always feared them. Due to a curse the men of the family die young. Mother of Sally and Gillian died of broken heart after their father died so the orphaned girls went to live with their aunts Jet (Dianne Wiest) and Frances (Stockard Channing). There they learned spellcasting. Romantic Sally (Sandra Bullock) fears that her future husband will die so she does not want to fall in love and wishes for a man who can not exist but fate has other plans. Gillian (Nicole Kidman) is more adventurous and travels around the world partying and having fun. 
Sandra Bullock
Nicole Kidman
Sally marries apple salesman Michael (Mark Feuerstein) and has two daughters. Michael dies in an accident and Sally gets depressed. Gillian has an aggressive lover Jimmy (Goran Visnjic) and she escapes him to go to comfort Sally. Sally abandons witching and opens a herb shop. Gillian's nasty boyfriend causes problems and abuses Gillian so the sisters accidentally kill him. Oopsy daisy! The sisters try to resurrect him using necromancy and Jimmy returns as a vengeful zombie. They have to kill him again but he does not want to remain dead. Also nice cop Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) pops in to ask questions about Jimmy. 
Goran Visnjic
Aidan Quinn
Romantic fantasy drama with two beautiful actresses is a film that has potential to be enjoyable. However the direction is all over the place. The story can not decide if it wants to be romantic drama or horror comedy or murder mystery. The parts do not fit seamlessly and therefore it is not great in any category. The condensation of the novel seems to leave several plot threads loose and unraveled. Some scenes come from nowhere and their importance to the overall story is vague. The ending feels rushed with all too easy solutions. Suddenly the villagers just accept the witches after centuries of hostility. There is some good drama and fun scenes, the actors are wonderful and they have good screen chemistry. But the overall mix has too many lumps to make it go down smooth.
There's a little witch in every woman!
Rating: Average 

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, Goran Visnjic, Aidan Quinn, Evan Rachel Wood, Alexandra Artrip, Mark Feuerstein, Caprice Benedetti, Annabella Price, Camilla Belle, Lora Anne Criswell, Margo Martindale, Chloe Webb, Martha Gehman, Lucinda Jenney, Cordelia Richards, Mary Gross, Jack Kirschke, Herta Ware, Ellen Geer, Courtney Dettrich, John McLeod, Trevor Duncan, Colby Cochran, Caitlyn Holley, Ken Serratt Jr., Rich Sickler, Jeanne Robinson, Deborah Kancher, Peter Shaw, Caralyn Kozlowski
Director: Griffin Dunne 


  1. This is a longtime favorite of mine... I just love Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock together. Of course the movie is really daft, but it's entertaining!

    1. Maybe I would have liked it more if it would have been constant with either the first or the second half. But Bullock and Kidman were good.

  2. Parhaiten mieleeni jäi se, että Kidman ja Bullock näyttivät nätiltä kannessa. Kaikki muu on valunut mielestä kuin vesi siivilästä.

    1. Muistin osan tarinasta, mutta jotenkin mieleni on aina fuusioinut tämän ja "Witches of Eastwickin"


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