Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SOTW: Practical Magic Review

Sally and Gillian move in with their two aunts after their mother died of a broken heart. All the women in the Owens family carry a curse, which means that the man they truly love will not live for long.

While watching their aunts do a lovespell for one of the towns scorned women, Jilly decided she can’t wait to fall in love. Sally, hoping she’ll never fall in love, casts a spell describing her ideal husband. A man she thinks can’t possibly exist.
When they’re older and Gillian is moving from one guy to the next, all Sally wants is to live a normal, magic-free life. She finds a husband, has two daughters and then, tragically, the inevitable occurs. Sally and her kids move back to the family home to live with aunt Fran and aunt Jet.

Sally spends all her time mourning in bed until she gets a phonecall from Gillian. She’s run into trouble with her latest conquest, the fiery Jimmy Angelov. Sally flees to her rescue and things go from bad to worse, until Gary Hallet, a handsome police officer, comes to their house enquiring about Angelov...

Practical Magic has it’s fair share of cheesy moments, It focuses mostly on the bond between the two sisters and how they both cope with the Owens curse.

There was one scene I didn’t like, where they needed to get a coven together to do a powerful spell. All the towns women who used to put Sally and Gillian down and bully them were suddenly very willing to help out. Sally made a small remark about this, but I think it was too easy of a solution. I know they needed to move the plot on and it’s nice that the witches were now accepted, but it just didn’t feel right to me that the aunts would so placidly welcome them into their home.

This movie could have been too sappy if not for the darkness of Goran Visnjiks (Dr. Luka Kovac in ER) character Angelov and the fun cookiness of the aunts. Diane Wiest (Edward Scissorhands, The Horse Whisperer) and Stockard Channing (who also plays the kickass Rizzo in Grease) do a great job of pulling off these quite sterotypical zany witches, making them loveable, warm, funny and wise.

I really like Mark Feuerstein as Sally’s husband, he’s sweet and seems a good match for Sally, but I wish they’d given him the bigger role of Gary Hallet. I don’t really care much for the police officer. Whether it’s Aiden Quinns acting or just how he’s written, I feel Gary Hallet seems insincere and he lacks personality. Which is a shame because it made me not care as much about how it ended.

Nicole Kidman does a decent job of playing the man-hungry Gillian. But, Sandra Bullock steals the show as Sally. She’s believable, moving, warm and looks gorgeous.

Maybe this movie seems a bit too girly to make it the main feature on Halloween. But it’s got enough scares, supernatural stuff and magic to make it worth a watch leading up to the night itself.

Stay tuned for more reviews during our Season Of The Witch!

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