Bewitched

"Bad"

Bewitched Review


Heed my advice before seeing Bewitched: It may fly like a witch and twitch like a witch, but it's certainly not the beloved Bewitched.

While its trailers make you believe the small screen gem has been reincarnated from its TV Land graveyard, those expecting a proper big screen revival will be sorely disappointed. In fact, the sisters Ephron have carefully crafted a film that tries and succeeds at not resembling the original. Too bad the parts they took out are all the best bits. The finished product is new and different, but it's too predictable and remarkably devoid of anything entertaining or enduring.

After a nasty break-up with his wife and several failed attempts to revive his floundering film career, washed up actor Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) is ready to take his life back. Jack believes that his role as Darren in the upcoming modern day remake of the classic Bewitched television show is just the break he needs. The egotistical star insists that the show focus solely on him and not on his wife Samantha and her magical powers. Jack is adamant that his co-star be an unknown actor that will not attract the attention he thinks he deserves.

Jack assumes the role of casting director, and soon finds the right not-so-leading-lady who can wiggle her nose the best. Her name is Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman). Only she's not an actor, she's an actual witch! What are the chances? Yet, Isabel isn't interested in exposing her true identity. She's come to live amongst the mortals because she's tired of being a witch and wants to feel like every other woman. Isabel's father Nigel (Michael Caine) calls her role on the show an insult to their way of life, but Isabel's excited about the part because it makes her feel needed.

Unfortunately for Isabel, it is quickly apparent that she is not needed. The show is completely dominated by Jack. The cameras focus longingly on him, while she's relegated to a spot in the corner of the set. Isabel's given no speaking lines, and the director (David Alan Grier) carefully walks her through each scene several times before they film, as if she were an idiot. Isabel's dressing room is a broom closet compared to Jack's palatial trailer. Even the show's opening credits give Jack all the glory: Isabel's face is hidden by black smoke. This is not Bewitched, it's The Jack Show.

Bewitched, the movie, suffers from the same problem that plagues the filming of the television show it depicts. It's The Will Show, as Ferrell is given way too much latitude. His obnoxious overacting, while effective in Old School and The Anchorman, this time feels re-hashed and tired. Bewitched serves not as a tribute to the original, but as yet another platform for Ferrell to flail his arms, make goofy faces, run around naked, and speak like an uneducated fool. I understand that this is his shtick, and if that's the kind of comedy that turns you on, then you've hit the jackpot. It simply feels way out of place in a remake of a harmless TV show from 40 years ago.

The focus of the classic television show was on Samantha, but Kidman is overpowered by Ferrell's dominating presence. There are very few scenes in this Bewitched where Kidman is allowed to use her abilities to get the best of Ferrell. I counted only three, which just so happens to correspond to the number of times I laughed during the 110 minute running time. And because of the film's one-sidedness, precious little time is given to veterans Caine and Shirley Maclaine (as Endora) to elevate their minuscule roles. No amount of spells or hocus pocus can turn this befuddled re-creation of the classic into something worth watching.

Lots of extras on the DVD, including commentary from Ephron, a trivia track, deleted scenes, three featurettes, and a witch game.

I vant to drink your blood!



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: 1.5 / 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

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.