Combustible Celluloid
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With: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Jason Schwartzman, Kristin Chenoweth, Heather Burns, Jim Turner, Stephen Colbert, David Alan Grier, Michael Badalucco, Carole Shelley, Steve Carell
Written by: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Adam McKay
Directed by: Nora Ephron
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, partial nudity
Running Time: 105
Date: 06/24/2005

Bewitched (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The darling Nicole Kidman stars as Isabel Bigelow, a real-life witch who is serendipitously cast as Samantha in a new retooling of the TV series "Bewitched." Will Ferrell plays Jack Wyatt, the failed big-screen actor who tries to re-ignite his career as Darren. Like Samantha, Isabel wishes to live among the humans without doing magic, but can't quite break the habit. Jack falls for her but when he finds out that she's a witch, he freaks. Writer/director Nora Ephron and her co-writer/sister Delia have a lot of fun with these actors. Kidman is simply enchanting, using her coy looks and breathy delivery to steal hearts (she can do Elizabeth Montgomery's nose twitch perfectly), and Ferrell is blessed with a sequence in which Jack falls under a spell and acts quite a bit like the naïve, happy-go-lucky Elf. Supporters Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine and Jason Schwartzman contribute to the laughs. But the Ephrons fail to do anything more with the material. It's so lightweight that the wind from a passing broomstick would collapse its foundations. Certainly they could have taken advantage of modern-day elements like Wiccans, or the fact that many men might be turned on by Isabel's magic. But not even the TV-show-within-a-movie tries anything new.

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