Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'Practical Magic' is chick flick all can enjoy

Practical Magic (1998)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Diane Wiest, Goran Visnjic and Aidan Quinn
Director: Griffin Dunne
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Two very different sisters (Bullock and Kidman) who descend from a long line of witches, come together for the first time since their lonely childhood to cover up a murder and to break a long-standing family curse.

"Practical Magic" is a textbook definition of a "chick flick", but it has enough humor and suspense, along with just a touch of supernatural horror, that guys will be able to sit through it without complaining and even have a good time. It's a well acted movie that rests upon a solid, well-written script that's driven by a very literal interpretation of the notion of "Girl Power". There are a couple of continuity hiccups--such as the moon apparently going from full to a sliver in three days--but otherwise you'll have to do some real nitpicking to find fault with the film.

Sandra Bullock puts on her usual fine performance, once again playing her standard rumpled, slightly nerdy Girl Next Door character. Nicole Kidman, as wild and slutty sister, even puts on a good performance, something I don't think I've said about her since "Dead Calm". (Her put-on American accent slips on more than one occcasion, but she does a decent job otherwise.) They are supported admirably by the rest of the cast, with Goran Visnjic standing out as a particuarly creepy Bad Boyfriend.

So, guys, next time it's her time to chose for a Movie Night, and if she has a habit of picking historical dramas or tear-jearkers or pure chick flicks, see if you can steer her to "Practical Magic". You'll thank me for it.

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