Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nicole Kidman, Will Farrell, Shirley Maclaine, Michael Caine

Samantha the witch

We've all watched "Bewitched", the TV show at some point in our TV lives. Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York became household names.
But this movie is not exactly a remake. Nora Ephron presents us with a different angle. A mediocre actor wants to make a newer version of the TV show. Only this time, Jack Wyatt wants Darrin to be the main focus of the film not Samantha, his wifey witch. So he goes off to audition actresses who can crinkle with their noses just like Samantha does. But it is at the bookstore where he encounters Isabel, a witch in real life. She is tired of living a witchy existence and just longs to be human, a mere mortal without any powers. Thus the taping of the TV show begins. Unbeknownst to anyone on the set that she is a real witch.
There are a few scenes that deserve a chuckle or two. A lot of characters all blend in to get it some semblance of an ensemble. Subplots thrown in every now and then. Editing is a bit messy. Cinematography has this fairy tale look that permeates the entire film. Well it is about a witch with harmless little powers, after all. Nora Ephron's romantic comedy trend shines through but I did expect a bit more. It must be the script which left me hankering for some more bite and edgy feel and also some more laughter.
Nicole Kidman is perfectly cast as Samantha. Her nose is perky and pointy exactly like Samantha's or should I say, Elizabeth Montgomery's. Will Ferrel has this tendency to overdo it in his need to be funny. When his antics are goofy, it's fine. But when it evolves to the point of being slapstick silly, then it loses its comedic factor. I didn't feel much chemistry though between Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Just some wacky weird combination. Michael Caine and Shirley Maclaine have good comedic timing. They always shine in their roles even if they are only cast in bit parts. Watch out for a cameo role from Steve Carell, now he's one rip roaring hilarious dude.
I suggest you just watch this movie with a grain of salt. After all, what relevance does magic spells have in our life? None whatsoever. Just enjoy "Bewitched" for its cutesy and entertaining factor. Otherwise, you just might want to crinkle your own nose to make the film disappear into a puffing smoke of emptiness.

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