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It had so much potential... but they really blew it. They had so many great actors but a bad script. I had wanted to see this movie for so long because I had loved the TV show. And while I was sitting there I was waiting for moment where I thought it would get better but it never came. It seemed to go downhill with every passing moment. The movie dragged and dragged on. Shirley McLaine and Michael Caine's story was never resolved and the appearance of Uncle Arthur was forced and ridiculous. Aunt Clara was also another character that just wasn't written well at all. The special effects were done well but there wasn't enough of them...and considering this was about a witch, I expected more. If you loved the TV show, then you will be disappointed. If you never watched the TV show, you will be clueless and completely bored. The only good thing... Nicole Kidman was cute. And her clothes were nice. But cute and nice weren't enough.
Please give me a break. The idea was quite original but somewhere the
whole thing went south. I truly feel bad for Nicole Kidman and Will
Farrell. There were so many ways this movie could have went instead of
disappointing the true die hard Bewitched fans.
Weak plot, undefined characters, I truly felt as if someone said, "OK, we're bored with this, let's piece it together and call it a day." It would been nice if Isabel could have been seen as someone who was smarter and not so vulnerable and innocent.
I would put this in the same category of any 12 year old "I wanna be a pricess" movie. You wait three decades to find out what happened to Darrin and Samantha and you get a remake that's not really a remake. Some of the characters are from the original, some are transformed to the movie, some are just unknown. What happened? I'm insulted that Nora Ephron thought any true fan would be pleased with this movie.
Didn't someone think about running this by the true fans before rushing it out to a theater? There were times I was embarrassed to be in the audience. A total waste of $16.
A few funny moments but not worth the pain of sitting through the entire movie -- and I'm an easy laugh.
BEWITCHED (1 outta 5 stars) What a terrible, misbegotten abortion of a movie this turned out to be! Why couldn't they just be content to make a straight-forward adaptation of the old TV series? Samantha's a witch, Darren's a mortal... they fall in love and then conflicts ensue. Why did they have to devise this complicated and nonsensical storyline about a lousy movie actor (Will Ferrell) who plans on saving his floundering career by starring in a TV remake of "Bewitched"? And he just happens to cast a real witch (Nicole Kidman) in the female lead? And this real witch just happens to have some real relatives who are the same characters from the original TV series? The story gets pretty desperate at times... with "dream" sequences, the appearance of characters who may or may not be mere figments of someone's imagination and the ability of "Samantha" to turn back time indefinitely to erase any of her spells that may have gone awry. (Too bad they couldn't just rewind this whole movie and start over again.) Kidman has an appealing screen presence and probably could have done a good job in an actual "Bewitched" story. Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine are wasted on a goofy subplot that never really comes to any kind of satisfying conclusion. Will Farrell has a few funny moments but basically he plays an unlikable twit and there is no reason in the world for Kidman's character to fall in love with him. Awful, awful stuff... maybe if we all wriggle our noses we can make this movie disappear...?
Sitting through this flick was like watching a car crash in slow motion. Though there are funny bits, the supporting cast is unused despite the star power and potential. Jason Schwartzman, Kristin Chenowith, Steve Carrell, etc. all are wasted, by the second half of the movie, all seem to have faded into the background. Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell have zero chemistry and what is there seems forced. The writing gets progressively worse and there seems to be a lot of repetition. Save your money and wait for this one in the DVD bargain bin. The idea behind this re-imagination of the Bewitched series is something different, however this one doesn't make it off the ground.
"Bewitched" is a painfully embarrassing remake of the classic TV sitcom
that ran on ABC from 1964-1972. The series, about a "mixed" marriage
between a high-flying sorceress and an earthbound mortal, boasts some
of the most familiar and iconic images in television history.
Writer Nora Ephron has over-thought the concept to such an extent that she has managed to strip away most of the elements that made the series work in the first place. The movie isn't technically a "remake" of "Bewitched," since the witch played by Nicole Kidman isn't the Samantha Stevens of the series but rather a single woman named Isabel Bigelow who gets to PLAY Samantha Stephens on TV. It's all very chic and complicated, you see, but the story goes something like this: tired of the life of instant gratification that witchcraft so easily affords her, Isabel has decided to strike out on her own as a totally self-reliant mortal, moving into a tract home in the San Fernando Valley and vowing to get through the remainder of her days without the benefit of witchcraft. One afternoon while at a bookstore, she is spotted by one Jack Wyatt, a pompous, self-centered movie actor whose career and personal life have both been in the tank of late and who is hoping to at least jumpstart the former by taking on the role of Darrin Stevens in a new version of the old series. One glimpse of Isabel's nose-twitching ability convinces him that this non-actress would be perfect for the part, so we wind up, in true Pirandellian fashion, with a fictional TV witch being played by an honest-to-God real life witch.
The overriding problem with this film is that it completely undercuts the very elements that made Samantha such a likable and compelling figure for millions of spellbound American viewers. Even though the character played by Elizabeth Montgomery was basically just a "typical American housewife," content with staying at home and submitting to her husband, she was also intelligent, shrewd, occasionally subversive and always wise to the ways of human nature. Isabel is none of these things. In fact, she has been conceived as little more than a dingbat airhead, dippy, goofy and hopelessly backward in her dealings with other people, making us wonder what it was she'd been doing for all the millennia prior to the time of this story. I doubt Ephron intended for the story to be ironic in this way, but the old Samantha Stevens from 40 years ago came across as a more modern woman then than Isabel does today. This is clearly Kidman's worst, most annoying performance ever, which only goes to show that even an Academy Award winning actress can't make a silk purse out of every sow's ear that comes her way. The same goes for Will Ferrell in the role of the pseudo-Darrin whose over-the-top turn here is the movie equivalent of fingernails being dragged across a chalkboard for a grueling one hour and forty minutes (the combined running time of almost four episodes in the original series). Michael Caine as Isabel's warlock father and Shirley MacLaine as a real life witch who happens to be playing Endora are both old pros enough to turn in decent performances, but even they will undoubtedly want to expunge this turkey from their otherwise illustrious resumes as soon as possible.
In the TV "Bewitched," there was a certain subtle tension built into the premise that carried through from episode to episode. The Stevenses had to find ways to keep the outside world from finding the truth out about Samantha's real identity, not always an easy task what with Endora or Aunt Clara or Uncle Arthur popping in unannounced at all hours of the day or night casting a spell on some poor, unsuspecting mortal or wreaking havoc on the young couple's marital harmony and domestic bliss. This tension is completely lost in the film, as is the conflict between Darrin and Endora that always threatened to end with Darrin being turned into a chimpanzee or a bullfrog and Samantha running back to the effortless ease and comfort of her former existence. There really is no logical or coherent conflict to speak of in this film, just a lot of people running around acting silly to no discernible point or purpose. In fact, the only quality scene in the movie is one in which Isabel and Jack are cavorting around an empty set while Frank Sinatra's version of the title song plays in the background. It turns out to be the one - pardon the pun - "magical" moment in the film.
For, astonishingly, even the magic in this film is humdrum compared with the stuff that was done on the TV show. Someone should inform the makers of this film that special effects have actually advanced some in the last half century. One would certainly never know it by watching this film.
The one positive thing to be said about this movie is that it doesn't come saddled with one of those insipid, mind-numbing laugh tracks that are regularly slapped onto TV sitcoms - but then again even a laugh track wouldn't find much to chortle over here.
Nicole Kidman makes the whole wretched thing almost palatable. The, supposedly, inventiveness of this farce within a farce is hammered on with such lack of subtlety that, sometimes, you want to shout at the screen "Hey you! We're not brain dead! We got it! Move on! Will Ferrell is still a great TV comedian. How is it possible that nobody has told him that on the big screen less is more. Strangely, Nicole Kidman, the witch, is totally rooted in reality, we believe her. Will Ferrell, the mortal, is a loud caricature from beginning to end and we just can't get the attraction. There are some little perks however, Carole Shelley as Aunt Clara took me, thankfully, out of the movie and I spent at least 15 minutes asking myself where I've seen this actress before - The Odd Couple, one of the Pigeon sisters! Goodness! I was uncomfortable with Shirley MacLaine's cameo because I love her and I could only focus on the strange tightness in her face. I am a Kidmanite through and through that's why I go to see everything she does because I know that, even if she's involved in something quite beneath her, she manages to sparkle, to shine to surprise. Thank God for you Nicole.
Although it was not quite what I expected, Bewitched was not as bad as
I have been led to believe, either. I am guessing that Will Ferrell is
spreading himself a little too thin, as this movie was not as funny as
his movies usually are. I did enjoy a couple of genuine, hearty laughs
from this film, but again, not as many as expected. With those
expectations in mind, this movie might seem to fall a little flat, but
looking at the movie as a whole, it was still a delightful, little
comedy that I enjoyed. Sure, it was not Bewitched, the sitcom, but it
simply used the television series as somewhat of a guide line to go by.
The story is a bit confusing when trying to compare to the show but is
Jack Wyatt (Ferrell) is a down and out, nearly washed-up actor that has many bombs to his credit. He hatches a plan to remake the TV series "Bewitched", with himself in the starring role as Darren. The main difference between the remade TV show and the original is that Darren would be the focus and not Samantha, so for this reason, Jack decides he wants an unknown actress for the role, one he can virtually walk all over without knowing any better.
Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman, who is perfect for the role) is a naive witch who has just decided that she no longer wants to live her life getting everything she wants at the snap of her fingers and chooses to live more "normal", against the wishes of her father, Nigel Bigelow (Michael Caine).
Eventually, after many auditions, Jack runs into Isabel and is convinced she is perfect for the role. She is hesitant at first but decides to do the show. Everything is going fine until Isabel overhears Jack talking with the producers about how well the plan was going and this is where the fun begins. The scorned witch unleashes hell on poor Jack in many embarrassing situations.
We are even treated to cameos by Aunt Clara (Carole Shelley) and Uncle Arthur (Steve Carell). I am not sure how Uncle Arthur fit into the story other than to get Carell to do some hilarious stuff but Aunt Clara is actually Isabel's Aunt Clara, meant to be a coincidence. The resemblance between Carole Shelley and the original Aunt Clara, Marion Lorne, was absolutely uncanny. I was convinced she was the original, right down to her voice.
Overall, if you do not shoot your expectations too high, this is a nice little comedy featuring Ferrell, with Nicole Kidman more than holding her own with him. Isabel was a lovable and cute character. Bewitched did have a few surprises and was worthy of watching. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To it's credit Bewitched is something of a paradigm shift away from the
typical little to big screen transition. Those lovable little twits
that brought us "You've Got Mail" have delivered a film not about a
witch named Samantha and her idiotic husband Darren, but something much
more interesting, a film about a remake of a TV show about a witch
Now the really hilarious thing about this is that the actress playing Samantha is really a witch who wiggles her nose and has an extended family that's almost identical to the family on the original TV show, Huzza!!!! You may wonder how this strange coincidence could be handled gracefully. My answer is, I don't know, and by the way that's the Ephron Sisters answer too.
Another strange thing is that the witch seems to be free to rewind time whenever she messes things up. I've always wondered when I've seen this in movies, what happens to the other 6 billion people, wouldn't there be some sort of butterfly effect? Makes you think she's sort of a selfish bitch. I wish I had that power so I could get back the 90 minutes I wasted on this garbage.
I had a chance to see this movie at an advanced screening.
I'm sorry to say that there were people who walked out. Admittedly, the first half is kind of dull. The cute and funny parts are few and far between.
The plot is dragged down horribly by some really bad secondary characters. Uncle Arthur, Iris/Endora and Isabelle's father are all reaaaally dull and contrived. The movie comes to a grinding halt when they appear.
The script writing is quite clever, and Nicole Kidman (happy birthday today!) is great, as always. Will Ferrell just plain cracks me up. I would have liked to see the plot give him more goofy parts, because that's when he really shines.
All in all, not really a surprising movie. Wait and rent it!
When you go to see a SITCOM made into a full length motion picture you
go in expecting to see certain things. Almost all of the people
involved int the television show are dead now, but I think all of them
would have approved of this.
What is the plot? Simple. Nicole Kidman plays Isabella a real witch who wants to leave that behind to be like a mortal. She is cast in the roll of Samantha in a remake of the TV show. It is goofy and silly and nonsensical in places but SO WAS THE TV SHOW! Shirley MC is great as the actress who was a grand actress in past, but placed into a sitcom that doesn't really showcase her talent. DO NOT expect anything complicated from this.
I enjoyed it for what it is. It's light fun. MY main criteria for liking a movie is do I think I got my money's worth and was I anxious for it to end. YES and NO.
MANY of the performances are great. At times Nicole looks JUST LIKE Liz Montgomery and there are plenty of still of Liz and video of her to compare during this film. Michael Caine was excellent and Steve Carell is SPOT ON as Uncle Arthur. I mean SPOT ON! I grew up watching this and was anxious to see if they harmed it's memory. They did not. DO NOT expect a message. GO to laugh a lot and be charmed and you'll have fun.
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