For over twenty years, the star power of Sandra Bullock has enchanted many an audience over the span of her varied career. In 1998, she co-starred in a little film called Practical Magic, about the power of sisters, and maybe even true love.
Practical Magic (1998) Film Review
Many, many generations ago, a curse was put upon the Owens women. After the heartbreak of their ancestor, she places a curse on any man an Owens woman truly loves. Years later, and that dreadful curse not only takes the life of a man an Owen loves, but also hers when she dies of a broken heart. Her two daughters, Sally and Gillian, are sent to live with their aunts (Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest), women who are believed to be witches in their small town. As a result the girl’s grow up ridiculed, and also quite different.
Gilly (Nicole Kidman) is a free spirit with a sting of ex-boyfriends, but her interpretation of “love” is about to get her in trouble. Since Gilly left in the pursuit of love, Sally (Bullock) has been restless. All this changes when she meets Michael, a good, kind and normal man. Together, they make a home for their two children, but it isn’t long before both the curse finds Sally, and Gilly’s own life takes a turn that could destroy her entire family.
Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve ever seen Practical Magic. I’m not one for supernatural stories, but given how many of Sandra Bullock’s films I’ve seen. Of course, it has been in Interest search carousals, and I knew of it, but the seeing it part alluded me. As I worked on seasonal content, and tried to decide what would fit a “non-spooky” list, this one again held up its hand, and said, “pick me!” So finally, I did.
To be honest, I’m really not sure what I think of this one. Surface level, I think it’s really entertaining, and in some instances, cute. It’s sort of juxtaposed of various genres and in this way, I’m not sure the film really knows what it wants to be. Does it want to be a mystery? Does it want to be a spooky film, with a bit of comedy? Or, maybe does it mean to be a love story? It’s this that sort of confuses the plot, and makes things seem a bit uninteresting at times because it shifts between these things. Plus, it can be a little slow to get to what I’d assumed (after reading the synopsis) would be the main crux of the film.
“…I wished for you, too.” – Practical Magic
It’s perhaps the love story that makes me question it most. On the one hand, I adore it. I do think it’s sweet yet still brimming with chemistry, but on the other hand, I wonder if it’s really, truly authentic. There are conflicting emotions, scripting and scenes, but in the end, I like to think it’s authentic. Even as the romantic I am, I still want all romance or cinematic love stories to work as a genuine one. There’s plenty to hope for in a film that could have become dark, and the end is cute, so that’s really all we can ask for.
Though imperfect, this is a fun little film. There’s a strong bond between sister’s, some pretty filming and a few swoony romantic moments, just to add the “finishing” touch every creative project needs. If you like the actors or seasonal films that aren’t spooky, but still have an atmospheric quality, Practical Magic is a charming and magical little story.‘Practical Magic’: True Love and a Powerful Sisterhood. A review of the 1998 #SandraBullock and Nicole Kidman film. #Throwback #Movie Review! Click To Tweet
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You can find Practical Magic, digitally, to rent or own on Amazon Video.
Content: there’s some minor sexuality, though everything is more implied than it is seen. (A woman talks of drugging her boyfriend so she can sleep.) There’s some magic (of course), but nothing terrible (an evil spirit does inhabit, and therefore changes their personality, another’s body for a time). There’s implications of abuse (and some we see) along with some minor profanity; the film is PG-13.