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Bewitched
cast: Nicole Kidman, Will Farrell, Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, and Jason Schwartzman

director: Nora Ephron

98 minutes (PG) 2005 widescreen ratio 16:9
Sony DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Robin Landry
Bewitched, starring Nicole Kidman as Isabel Bigelow playing Samantha Stevens, and Will Farrell as Jack Wyatt playing Darrin Stevens, is a remake without the magic that made the first series so engaging. Maybe, in our New Age world, we now know too much about magic. We demand more than a nose-wiggle for conjuring up objects. We want to know how it all works, and this movie tells us nothing. Whether it's because of lazy writing, or just plain lack of imagination, I have no idea. All I know is that, Bewitched is like eating cotton candy. It looked like a lot of food while on the stick, but after eating it, you're just as hungry as when you before you chewed a lot of pink goo.

As if the lack of a plausible story line were not enough, Wyatt (Farrell) and Isabel (Kidman) have zero charisma as a couple. Sure, Wyatt is a big time movie star, but he must have had some sort of appeal to get him there in the first place. There is no sign of it in this movie. Wyatt went from obnoxious movie star to stupid lug with nothing in between, and this, we're supposed to believe, is what attracted Kidman's character to him in the first place. This is asking us to suspend our disbelief a little too far.

Let's see, a witch is someone who can get any man in the world she wants, yet she seeks out a rude, helpless, idiot. What I'd like to know is how dysfunctional are witches? Do they all seek out the least appealing man on earth to fall in love with? Are they just tired of perfection? Witches must live a very long time to be so bored as to consider Jack Wyatt worthy of notice, much less, their affection.

Michael Caine does a marvellous job as Isabel's father. He, and Shirley MacLaine as Endora, are wonderful but, again, I had a hard time believing that a male witch could be fooled into not recognising a fellow witch. 'How dumb are witches', kept running through my mind. Nothing was ever resolved in that scenario, but maybe they're saving it for 'Bewitched 2'. Please say it isn't so!

Nora Ephron has made a typical 'chick flick'. This is a movie that makes up for hundreds of years of feminine oppression by making all the women in the movie brilliant and beautiful, and all the men bumbling idiots. Kidman's character is so perfect that she's annoying. What a waste of a great actress. I'm betting that Shirley MacLaine had a lot more fun with her over the top character. Too bad they didn't give Kidman a bad side and set her loose. Now that would have made a fun movie.
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