Bewitched (PG)



Comedy (2005)
102mins US

Starring: Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell
Director: Nora Ephron
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Good-natured witch Isabel lives in sunny San Fernando Valley in California. She longs for nothing more than to lead a 'normal life'. Fate leads her into the path of comeback actor Jack Wyatt, who is pitching himself as the perfect choice to play Darrin in an updated version of Bewitched. It's a match made in heaven, or so they both think.

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LondonNet Film Review

Surprisingly Spell-worthy.
Bewitched catches up to the Hollywood remake season with more than a broom-full of enchantment.

Good-natured witch Isabel lives in sunny San Fernando Valley in California. She longs for nothing more than to lead a 'normal life'. Fate leads her into the path of comeback actor Jack Wyatt, who is pitching himself as the perfect choice to play Darrin in an updated version of Bewitched. It's a match made in heaven, or so they both think (PA).

Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell star in the umpteenth remake to be churned out of Hollywood this summer (otherwise known as Remake Season), although somehow they still manage to make it quite entrancing. After a hefty dose of drama for Kidman (The Interpreter; Birth), she steps into the nuzzle-nosed, conservative heels of Isabel, and does so with surprising ability. Nobody has thus far accused Kidman of comedy, but she approaches it with bravado and, it seems, lets down her strawberry, Victorian shell amicably.

No one is saying Bewitched is in-it for an Oscar - I'm not sure "Oscar" and "Will Ferrell" are compatible words - but in the flooded world of stodgy remakes, Bewitched's modern touches (via self-help books, TV production protocol and a new VW Bug) give it a solid push ahead of the others. Plus, with the added bonuses of geriatric Alfie Michael Caine, an irrepressible Shirley MacLaine and a slicked-back, Hollywood-ified Jason Schwartzman (with highlights!), it's very hard to resist.

Sure, the plot flutters like the fifties sitcom; of course there's the campy fall-down humour synonymous with Ferrell; and yes, the nose wiggling similarities are simply amazing - but this is a light summer film, for light-hearted, cheerable viewers. If you want to see a depressing drama, catch one of Kidman's previous films. Otherwise, wish no further than Bewitched. It's undeniably charming.

Megan M. Retka


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