10/01/2005

Bewitched

Do I need to tell those of you that are sensitive that there may be spoilers…

Now, I’m not the foremost expert on romantic comedy; for me, they are just a bit of fun once in a while. So forgive me if the review may be a little below standards… This is the first time I have ever actually graced the cinema to watch a romantic comedy.
On that note, I must say that it is the one of the only films this year so far, wherein the cinema packed itself in about 5 minutes, rather than the usual five or six people who attend the normal films I go and see.

Directed by Nora Ephron who brought us Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, and starring Nicole Kidman (Isabel Bigelow/Samantha), Will Ferrell (Jack Wyatt/ Darrin), Shirley MacLaine (Iris Smythson/Endora) and Michael Caine (Nigel Bigelow) to name the biggest parts.

Being a big fan of Bewitched as a child I was hoping for a nostalgic revival to the great show. Unfortunately all I got was a nice little romantic comedy (although I must say my attitude of this did change). The film follows both Jack Wyatt (Ferrell) and Isabel Bigelow (Kidman). Wyatt, a failing actor feels his comeback can be had in the form of a remake of the once hit show Bewitched. Afraid that he could get shadowed by a big name female; he looks for an unknown, in doing this he accidentally finds a real witch (Isabel). Predictable antics ensue, and eventually they ‘find’ each other, living happily ever after, much like Darrin and Samantha.

It would seem that I am revisiting my old tendencies again, through watching another film that was neither serious nor magnificent. Which I am very much getting used to. I can only hope some more profound films are released soon.

Nicole Kidman was acting out of the usual performances I am used to seeing. Although I have only watched her in Batman Forever and Moulin Rouge, I have little to say on the matter. But she played Samantha pretty well, at times she almost seemed identical to her. As for Will Ferrell, I have only ever seen him from the Cowbell skit on SNL. But it was probably Ferrell that saved the film for me; simply do to a few humorous scenes involving him.
Michael Caine was in the same sort of role I felt he played in Miss Congeniality, definitely not up to the standards he gave in Batman Begins. The only other actor I feel I must mention was Steve Carell who appeared as Uncle Arthur; whom I never remember seeing in Bewitched. But suffice to say his character was so annoying and completely over the top!!

The screenplay; was written by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia Ephron; who as I mentioned wrote the screenplays for hosts of other romantic comedies, so they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately this also meant it was a rather clichéd romantic comedy. Everything was to be expected, both lines and events.

I’ll mention the music as well. But as usual I did not really notice much, except for the sudden insertion of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. Which I felt did not really ‘go’ but like I always keep complaining, it’s in films like these where songs are just inserted over the top, rather than it all be composed music.

So what were the good parts of the film? As a whole, it was a good romantic comedy, until it hits a certain point. The best parts of the film were probably the more humorous sections. I seem to remember Wyatt licking a shoe or a handbag, I am unsure. The scene at the dinner table was rather funny along with Wyatt’s obsession. I did also like the occasional nod to Bewitched; changing the title animations, complaining because they changed Darrin and nobody noticed, and generally remembering episodes of the series while watching the film. But they should have kept it at just that.

So those were the good bits… what was bad? The film seemed to go downhill with the introduction of Aunt Clara, and everything began to feel a little disjointed, the film became Bewitched, which is not what I wanted to happen after all that had took place earlier in the film. This also included the use of Uncle Arthur, so that before these introductions the film felt better as a romantic comedy about the stars of a Bewitched series, rather than actually taking from Bewitched itself.
I also felt that the magic was a little over done… but I loved that they included the two neighbours at the end.

Overall I can say that it was an enjoyable film. Keeping some of the same sort of elements from Bewitched, references to characters and some hilarious sequences. Bewitched proved a better film than I would have presumed. I can only hope I Dream of Jeanie will be comparable with the standards.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 6/10
We were supposed to be watching The Island, but we got the showing times, muddled, so we watched Bewitched instead, I wouldn’t have usually, but I grew up watching bewitched. It was ok I suppose, it was funny at times. Nice little Romantic Comedy.

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