A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.
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
After bad reactions at a test screening, composer Michael Nyman's score was rejected at the last minute. It was called too European sounding and obtrusive. It was replaced with one by Alan Silvestri. The change was made so late that the soundtrack albums had already been pressed. As a result, the first batch to hit stores all had two suites of themes from Nyman's score. A few weeks later, a new version of the CD, with the exact same ISBN number, was made, replacing Nyman's tracks with music by Silvestri. See more »
When the women gather for the circle, in the first shot Sally is standing next to Aunt Jet. In the next and subsequent shots Sally is standing next to Aunt Frances. See more »
Aunt Frances Owens:
For more than 200 years we Owens women have been blamed by everything that's ever gone wrong in this town.
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It appears that director Griffith Dunne tried to keep this film from being as powerful as it could have been. The movie fails to fully develop the town's overt fear of witches (missing only slightly), the full foreboding of "something wicked this way comes" with Jimmy (although the script lets them get away with it), and the magical love bond between Sally and Gary. A few small changes, such as more supportive background music, would have made these points support and counterpoint the lighter parts of the flick.
Bullock and Kidman are very good as the central characters, very believable as different-but-bonded sisters. Kidman is a little too flaky at times to be a fully credible witch, but this characterization runs well enough in context. Channing (whom I rarely enjoy) and Wiest are excellent in major supporting roles, outdone only by Webb and Wood (Sally's daughters) who show their abilities by *not* overacting their potentially cutesy roles. Instead, they do a great job in stating variations on their mother and Aunt Gilly.
Overall, I think most aspects of direction and production could have used one more iteration of quality improvement. Still, the movie is quite enjoyable, and worth watching again some time.
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