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Practical Magic (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 52,158 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 255 user | 91 critic | 22 from

The wry, comic romantic tale follows the Owens sisters, Sally and Gillian, as they struggle to use their hereditary gift for practical magic to overcome the obstacles in discovering true love.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandra Artrip ...
Annabella Price ...


Sisters Sally and Gillian Owens have a special bond with each other despite being different in personality and outlook. Having grown up with their spinster Aunts Frances and Jet in the long time Owens family home on an island off the coast of Massachusetts following the death of their father and then their mother, they are the latest in a long line of witches. Rumors of the Owens women being witches have existed for generations in the small close minded town in which they live, despite there being no hard evidence. The Owens women are also under a curse that any man with who they fall in love is doomed. With this experience, extroverted Gilly decides to leave the island to live life to the fullest, in the process falling for Jimmy Angelov, an ethnic Bulgarian who grew up near Transylvannia. More introspective Sally, who has sworn off the use of magic except in its most practical sense, has taken measures not to fall in love because of the curse, but ends up falling for and marrying ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For two sisters from a family of witches, falling in love is the trickiest spell of all. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense thematic elements and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hechizo de amor  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,104,694 (USA) (16 October 1998)


£2,987,705 (UK) (19 February 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The black dog that follows Sally's (Sandra Bullock's character) husband Michael (Mark Feuerstein's character) on the day of his death is no accident. According to several cultural traditions (mainly those of the British isles and Latin America), a sign of impending death can take the form of a black dog. See more »


When Gillian describes Jimmy to Sally (he reminds her of cowboy Dracula), she says that Transylvania is located in Bulgaria. It's in Romania. See more »


[first lines]
Aunt Frances Owens: For more than 200 years we Owens women have been blamed by everything that's ever gone wrong in this town.
See more »


Referenced in The Work of Director Spike Jonze (2003) See more »


A Case Of You
Written and Performed by Joni Mitchell
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

A Wonderfully fun movie
7 March 2003 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This movie is one of my favorites - I love watching it.

I have to agree with the remarks by AshIsTheGal and Warlen. Nicole Kidman had never been one of my favorite actress either, but I loved her in this movie (as I did Sandra Bullock). The real standouts though were Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest - watching them perform was almost worth the price of admission itself! They are wonderful.

I don't see this movie as being about magic or witchcraft, the romance between Sally and Gary Hallet or even Jimmy Angelov chasing Gillian (which is a huge catalyst - but not really any more than that). For me, this movie is really about the relationships between sisters and women (the Aunts Franny and Jet, Kylie and Antonia, the Owens' women and the townswomen and of course, between Sally and Gillian - both young and adult).

All of the actresses had a great chemistry, but I couldn't believe how well matched Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were. I felt that their bond was very believable and I loved watching their relationship to each other (and themselves) grow and mature as they went from being children to adults.

I certainly don't think that this film will appeal to everybody, and I can see why so many people "don't get it", but if you watch it more for the relationships between the women and not so much for the romance angle or the magic I think that you will really enjoy this movie. I thought that the romance and magic were handled very well, I just saw them as being secondary to the real story. Also - it has a wonderful soundtrack.

I read the book after seeing the movie, and while there are many changes between the two, I really enjoyed both. I thought that the changes made to the movie made for a better movie overall.

All in all, a very enjoyable movie. I highly recommend it.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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