Loosely based on the original TV series, Will Farrell is a washed up actor who decides to sign on to play Darren and remake the original Bewitched TV series. Having a super-sensitive ego, he casts an unknown actress (Nicole Kidman) who, as he eventually finds out, is an actual real witch who has been trying to give up her powers and "go normal".
What I Thought
I loved the original Bewitched series, and watched it in reruns back-to-back with I Dream of Jeannie (who in their 30's hasn't?). So I very much wanted to like this movie. And like all of YOU, I also practiced my nose twitching and blinking in the mirror when I was a kid, though I'm the only one to admit it....
But I didn't like this movie, I can't lie to you. The movie sucks. I'll elaborate.
Nicole Kidman is wonderful as Isabel Bigelow, playing her in a very wispy and almost hesitant manner. She pretty much channels your stereotypical semi-subservient 1950's housewife (with plenty of flashes of independence), and we see why with Michael Cain playing her very insistent and brash father (and too bad he gets so little screen time!). Anyone with a father like that would turn anti-social.
Nicole Kidman is starring in a romantic comedy. Will Farrell, unfortunately, is starring in a slapstick movie. They act "past" each other and do not click at all. There is no chemistry. Farrell is very miscast both for the role and against an actress like Kidman.
Surprisingly, in the "serious" scenes Farrell gives a hint of a pretty complex serious actor, but that moment quickly lapses back into buffoonery. I mean, he is as funny as always, but it doesn't fit into this movie very well.
The movie also has major plot issues.
The unexplained appearance of Uncle Arthur at the end, while being a very spot-on performance by Steve Carell (from the inferior U.S. version of The Office), leaves you scratching your head.
Additionally, Isabel's family is very similar to Samantha's. This doesn't fit in very well. The rakish father and a similar scatterbrained Aunt Clara just add confusion. The movie plot involves remaking the original TV series. But why add characters from the TV Bewitched characters as real members of Isabel's family? It just doesn't seem very original and it feels like they ripped off the TV series for characters in a movie about a remake of that TV series. I was almost waiting for Shirley Mclain (as the actress who plays Endora) to reveal herself as Isabel's mother in disguise (she didn't, but I'm just sayin').
So, to summarize: I think the major flaw with this movie is that the writers didn't write a tight enough script, allowing for sloppy character development, on top of the Farrell miscasting.
Two thumbs down.
Two thumbs up.
All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.