Practical Magic (1998)

Witches, witches and more witches… I bet you cannot guess what Practical Magic is about. If you guessed witches than I would say you are a witch, either that or very perceptive. If you are witty and humorous than I should consider that the icing on the cake… which incidentally would also be a worthy description of the movie I just watched.

Made quite some time ago Practical Magic is a romantic comedy revolving around a family of witches cursed to have the men they love die upon the zenith of their passion. Passed from generation to generation one might say that finding permanent happiness for the Owen family is hard to come by, even harder yet to satisfy. This is certainly true when one of the Owen clan falls into a deadly relationship with a dangerous man.

Her sister off to her rescue they are lured into a hostage situation where the only way to escape is to poison the man. Yet with his death comes the mystery of how to throw the police off of his trail. Desperate not to be imprisoned they perform a risky spell and bring him back to life as a malicious spirit. Somewhat free of the long hand of “Johnny Law” yet thrust into the fire of how to simultaneously cast back this evil spirit to the grave as well as finding true love, one can say that the plot takes more than a few turns.

There are a few missteps. Most notably we see the leaps in logic; for instance: in the beginning the Owen’s family is despised in the town as witches yet later in the film, when the family needs help performing a spell, they “come out” as witches and find no trouble at all finding their “enemies” willing to help them in casting spells… of course, these are the very same people who were once slurring them with abuses. On-top of this there is some questionable soundtrack compositions, which seemed to lean too heavily on the than popular tracks of the day, along with a few acting irregularities.

Yet this isn’t to say it is a bad film. On the contrary while it can be a bit groan inducing at times, the writing is swell. Throughout the movie there are more than a few pieces of dialogue that I found to be greatly amusing and the whole script appears to have been inspired. No movie is perfect so I suppose considering the subject matter there are few complaints to lodge against this coven.


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