CORPORATE LINE: In Columbia Pictures’ beguiling romantic comedy, Bewitched, an all-star cast led by Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine cast their spell on the movie version of one of TV’s most memorable and beloved shows under the direction of Nora Ephron, who co-wrote the screenplay with Delia Ephron for producers Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Penny Marshall and Nora Ephron.
Out in California’s San Fernando Valley, Isabel (Nicole Kidman), is trying to reinvent herself. A naive, good-natured witch, she is determined to disavow her supernatural powers and lead a “normal” life.
At the same time, across town, Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) a tall, charming actor is trying to get his career back on track. He sets his sights on an updated version of the beloved 1960’s situation comedy “Bewitched,” reconceived as a starring vehicle for himself in the role of the mere-mortal Darrin.
Fate steps in when Jack accidentally runs into Isabel. He is immediately attracted to her and her nose, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the nose of Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha in the original TV version of “Bewitched.” He becomes convinced she could play the witch Samantha in his new series.
Isabel is also taken with Jack, seeing him as the quintessential mortal man with whom she can settle down and lead the normal life she so desires.
It turns out they’re both right – but in ways neither of them ever imagined.
THE GOOD: Nicole Kidman is one of the few good things about Bewitched. She is a perfect fit for the character Isabel. Her perky, bite, and little smirk maintains a perfect level of sarcasm. Sure, you never really go from smirking to a big laughs—but it’s not Kidman who ruins the film.
Will Ferrell plays his usual character; an egomaniac who is turned up to ten. Ferrell is perfect for the role even though the role is far from perfect.
THE BAD: The screenplay is terrible. We get characters from the original television show coming alive and no one says why. The concept seemed like a good idea but it never comes off well. Watching there is a sense this could have worked. There is also the sense it could have been good. The problem is that Bewitched is aimless. It also slips into one too many Hollywood clichés. Bewitched got into a comfort zone and never got out.
FRANKLY: Kidman has the bad luck of picking really bad movies. Will Ferrell on the other hand takes every role thrown his way and is no longer a bankable star. Fans will get a few laughs but he’s become less and less reliable for a good time.
+ Charlie Craine