Opening 1 Sep 2005
Writing credits: Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron
Principal actors: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Jason Schwartzman
Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) is a failed film actor trying to make a comeback in television. He is cast to play Darrin in a remake of the 60s television series Bewitched. Jack insists on an unknown to play Samantha so that he can be the only star. He sees the enchanting Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) in a cafe and introduces himself, surprised that she doesn't know he is a celebrity. As she wriggles her nose before a sneeze, Jack realizes Isabel is perfect for the part of Samatha. What he doesn't know is that Isabel is in fact a witch who wants to live like a normal girl, buying groceries and falling in love with someone who needs her.
Isabel/Samantha gets confused between the script for the show and real life. However, once she realizes Jack is using her for his career, she returns to witchcraft and casts a spell on him. Everything goes wrong from there, including this attempted remake. Various plot turns to re-introduce other characters from the old show fail to conjure up any of the cleverness of the popular series.
For fans of the television series, nose-twitching accompanied by little do-do-do-do do tones is all that survived in the film version. Nicole Kidman is quite cutesy as the breathy-Marilyn-Monroe-like Isabel/Samantha. Will Ferrell as Jack/Darrin is bumbling without the charm or cleverness of the original Darrin. Michael Caine is very debonair as Nigel Bigelow, Samantha's father. Shirley MacLaine pops in as Endora and out of mind. Director Nora Ephron must have been going through a bad spell when she wrote, produced and directed this film. No real magic here, but the brew of sumptuous sets, light comedy and a touch of Hollywood satire can suffice for a bit of distraction from reality. (Mary Nyiri)