Practical Magic (1998)

Rating: 15 Length: 1h 44 Release: 22.1.1999 Dir: Griffin Dunne About: After the death of their parents, Sally and Gillian Owens move in with their aunts, Jet and Frances. The two sisters have nothing in common except their hereditary gift for practical magic.

The Good

  • This film is well cast. Any film that lets me tolerate Nicole Kidman always gains bonus points too. The core of the likability of this film does fall on Sandra Bullock. She is Peak Sandra in this movie.
  • The music is magical (sorry). From Faith Hill’s This Kiss to the Midnight Margarita dancing to Coconut by Harry Nilson, it’s a 90s feel good soundtrack.
  • It takes the coven, the horror and the theme of the outcast from The Craft, the romance of any film from the 90s and the lust of a Sharon Stone movie and created a cocktail of a movie that many will love.
  • You know what I loved most of all about watching this time, as an adult instead of a teen?! The acceptance of the community at the end. Sally uses the phone tree to create an impromptu coven in order to save Gilly. I hadn’t realised before, but it brought me to tears this time; it’s wasn’t the witchcraft they were really against. It was the unknown. When it really came down to it and they realise the family needed help, all the barriers broke down and they accepted Sally. It was so heartwarming.

The Bad

  • The weird romance with Sally and the FBI guy. I get it, I get why and I totally find it cute with the daughters when they work out who he is, however there’s no chemistry there. I bought into her love with her first love but this guy and their make out session in his hotel. Nope, don’t buy it!

The Ugly

  • I don’t like the lack of clarification of why they performed the spell on Jimmy. He’s a toxic man and I feel it does the film an injustice to even allow a seed of doubt that it was because Gilly wanted him rather than to save her sister.

Final Thought

Love this movie. This is one of those ‘Sandra Bullock makes this awesome’ sort of movies. I’d not seen it for years, but I do want to see it again.

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