Earl and I went to see ‘Bewitched” starring Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell last Friday night. I’ve been waiting to see this movie for almost a year, well, actually ten years or so since Penny Marshall originally announced that she was going to do it in the mid 1990s with Ted Bessell (from ‘That Girl’) directing.
This version was written by Nora and Delia Ephron, along with Adam Mc Kay (who apparently punched up the script for Will Farrell).
I give it a “B” or 3 out of 5 “oh my stars”.
I will elaborate further, but be forewarned that there’s spoilers in the rest of this blog entry, just in case you haven’t seen the movie yet.
You’ve been warned.
The movie is a *wonderful* tribute to the original Bewitched, with Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Agnes Moorehead and Paul Lynde in all their bewitching splendor in several scenes throughout the movie, by the way of clips from the original show. There’s numerous mentions of the original cast and it definitely pays homage to all those involved with the original.
Nicole Kidman plays Isabel Bigelow (the real life witch who plays Samantha in the “Bewitched” remake this movie is about) a bit ditzy. I’m confused about a couple aspects of her character. Does she have her own aunt named Aunt Clara who resembles Samantha’s Aunt Clara, including her collection of door knobs? Does she subscribe to the Wiccan traditions (through the use of tarot cards or whatever) or is she a witch with the same ideals as Samantha? Granted, she doesn’t twitch her nose, she tugs on her ear, but things happen pretty much like they did for Samantha on the original series.
I’m not a big Will Farrell fan as I think he’s pretty one dimensional as an actor. We get to see his “cheerleader” mode, his “Elf” mode and his “antics” mode. Jim Carrey would have been better simply because he bears a closer resemblence to Dick York but he would have been full of his own antics. Overall, I thought Will’s contribution was what I would have expected and nothing more. No pleasant surprises there, but no disappointments either.
Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine, both wonderfully cast, were hopelessly under used. I believe this was my biggest disappointment with the movie, especially when it comes to Shirley. When she played Iris Smythson, she was much more Endora-esque then when she played Endora. Agnes Moorehead had a presence about her that can not be duplicated. I thought Shirley held back way too much when it came to playing Endora. Plus, the love affair between Iris and Nigel was touched upon but never fully explored. It’s like they forgot about them 3/4 of the way through the movie!
In fact, I get the feeling that a big chunk of this movie was edited out. Of course, I’ve followed the production of this movie since it’s inception, so I know that there are scenes missing, but for the most part there’s a lack of continuity that can’t be overlooked. For example, did Isabel and Jack really get married or was it part of the remake of Bewitched. Where did Abner and Gladys Kravitz come from at the end, as part of the show or as part of reality (Richard Kind and Amy Sedaris were **dead on** as the Kravitzes)? What happened to Nigel and Iris? Where did Uncle Arthur go?
Earl and I are going to see the movie again once I’m off call next week, and I’m looking forward to the experience, if only just to pick up what I may have missed on the first viewing. We’ll definitely buy it when it comes out on DVD, especially if they include deleted scenes.
It’s not a bad movie but it’s not a summer blockbuster by any stretch of the imagination, either. Its “o.k.”.
As an aside, the previews before the show included the trailer for “Rent”. OH MY GOD. I am pumped about seeing that movie this fall!