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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.