Bewitched

"Weak"

Bewitched Review


Campy-revamp remakes and Nicole Kidman just don't mix.

But the problem is not the actress's performances. Sheadded bite and ironic melodiousness to last year's slapdash, self-destructing"TheStepford Wives," and she keeps the newself-aware, big-screen version of "Bewitched" afloat with herdelightful spark of perky naivete as a witch trying to live a mortal life.She has a deftly silly sense of comedic balance and timing.

The problem is, when she's just looking to have some funbetween dramatic roles, the girl can't pick a script.

Like "The Stepford Wives," this new comedy isa mess at the screenplay level. It changes mood, direction and (like "Wives")the rules of its own reality in every other scene. The plot is sloppy andstructurally unsound. Fictional characters from the original "Bewitched"come to life in single scenes for no explored reason ("The Daily Show's"Steve Carell is bloody awful as queeny Uncle Arthur) -- and this happenseven though the bulk of the meta-cinema plot takes place in real-worldHollywood. You see, Kidman plays an actual witch who becomes an actressand gets cast as TV sorceress Samantha Stevens in a network remake of thetitular 1960s sitcom.

Will Ferrell, doing a slight variation on his stock vulnerablychildish egomaniac routine, plays a vulnerably childish egomaniac moviestar whose career is in a tailspin, so he takes the role of Darren, Samantha'sflabbergasted mortal husband, but demands that the new show be retooledto revolve around him. He's well cast, but no less obnoxious than usual.

Through a series of unlikely misunderstandings, Kidmanfalls for this superficial idiot, uses her powers to humble him, goes ona peppy-pop-song date montage, then reverses her curses because she realizesthat love must come from within...blah, blah, blah.

Writer-director Nora Ephron ("Sleepless in Seattle,""You've Got Mail") and her co-writer sister Deliaseem to view Kidman's powers as a metaphor for women who think they canfix men and break them of bad habits. But they do nothing to dispel thismyth. "Bewitched" has the same insulting message as most triteromantic comedies: Lower your standards, girls, because accepting apologiesfor preventable bad behavior is as close as you'll ever get to having agood man.

"Bewitched" has many good laughs as Kidman'snormality-seeking, endearingly wide-eyed innocent (she gets a thrill outof making microwave popcorn instead of conjuring it up with a finger snap)navigates the sycophantic- and shark-infested seas of mortal Hollywood.Michael Caine, Kristin Chenoweth (from the Broadway hit "Wicked")and Shirley Maclaine garner some laughs as Kidman's interfering father,hyperactively perky next-door neighbor and a secretly witchy diva caston the show as Endora, Samantha's interfering mother.

But the movie switches gears so many times that it severelyshorthands several character arcs. One minute Ferrell is running away fromKidman, freaked out by discovering she's a real witch. The next, he's cryinginto a pillow about how much he misses her, even though there's nothingpreventing him from driving to her house to patch things up.

Ephron was clearly more interested in forming a plot aroundpre-determined jokes than she was in finding the humor in a good story,and her out-of-whack priorities are what hex "Bewitched."



Bewitched

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th June 2005

Box Office USA: $62.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $63.3M

Budget: $80M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 139

IMDB: 4.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Isabel Bigelow, as Jack Wyatt, as Iris Smythson / Endora, as Nigel Bigelow, as Ritchie, as Maria Kelly, as Nina, Jim Turner as Larry, as Stu Robison, as Jim Fields, as Joey Props, Carole Shelley as Aunt Clara, as Uncle Arthur, Katie Finneran as Sheila Wyatt, as Himself, Brittany Krall as Auditioning Actress

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.