Reviewed by: Kotleta

What would you do if you had magic powers?

As would anyone with any sense, Isobel uses the gift to make sure her hair is always perfect, her lipstick never smudges her teeth and that she has the fastest, shiniest car on the block - a refreshingly human attitude towards instant gratification. This is quite novel and reflects the Fifties mores of the original Bewitched series, where Samantha mostly used her powers for revenge, skincare and tidying up when she couldn't be bothered. These days witches use their spells and potions to save the world and vanquish demons - they take it all sooo seriously. (Yes, I KNOW witches aren't real, but if you watch the Charmed boxset in one go, with a bottle of vodka for company, and you haven't been outside in a while, reality is a negotiable concept.)

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Getting your own way all the time gets boring, so Isobel decides to renounce her magic powers and experiment with life in the mortal world, hoping that she can find someone who will love her for herself and not just because she's drugged them. She meets Will Ferrell, a film star whose career is going nowhere but TV, who loves the way she twitches her nose just like the original Sam. So, embracing her new "normal" life as an actress, Isobel goes from just being a witch pretending to be a mortal, to being a witch pretending to be a mortal pretending to be a witch who pretends to be mortal.

This is a fluffily entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. You laugh out loud and chuckle quietly, but you won't be wiping away tears, or thinking of anything but how to get that bit of popcorn out of your right molar. It's fun, but it's not emotionally engaging or intellectually stimulating in any way. Who cares?

Ferrell is charming and oddly sexy. He's ginger and a bit tubby. It shouldn't be so. Nicole Kidman gives good value for money and has a sense of comic timing that her ex Tom can only envy, as he bounces about chat show studios in search of his self-respect. Tom has no sense of humour and Nicole does. She looks as though she'd be fun on a night out. Which is why it is so tragic that she's used her magic powers to turn herself into a thinner version of Melanie Griffith, complete with faux breathy voice, coy girlish giggle and utterly rigid forehead.

Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2005
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What would you do if you had magic powers?
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Director: Nora Ephron

Writer: Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Jason Schwartzman, Kristin Chenoweth, Heather Burns, Jim Turner

Year: 2005

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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