Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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July 6, 2005

"Bewitched" is anything but bewitching

by Merlyn Deng, Online Editor-in-Chief
Despite its enticing title, the romantic comedy "Bewitched" is enchanting in very few ways. Starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, "Bewitched" flounders as a movie that is based off the hit TV series, where director Nora Ephron fails miserably to recapture the glory of the original.

There is nothing in "Bewitched" that makes it worth watching. The actors are, for the most part, over the top and cheesy, and the plot is ridiculous. However, Nicole Kidman stands out as one of the good aspects of the film. An actress that generally stars in more serious films, Kidman takes a comic turn and delivers beautifully as Isabel Bigelow, a witch searching for love and a normal life.
Even two heavyweights like Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell couldn't save "Bewitched."
Even two heavyweights like Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell couldn't save "Bewitched."

The movie is a story of Isabel, a witch who is bored with getting whatever she wants with the twitch of her nose. Isabel wants to be normal and resolves to quit her magical ways.

Will Ferrell plays Jack Wyatt, a B-list actor looking desperately for an unknown to play the part of Samantha in an updated version of "Bewitched." Jack's intentions aren't completely pure; he hopes to find an unknown so he can become the star of the show and fuel his dying career. After dozens of fruitless auditions, Wyatt visits a bookstore and spots Isabel by chance through a bookshelf. Soon after he sees Isabel twitch her cute nose, Jack decides that he must search her out to play Samantha.

When Isabel first meets Jack, she instantly becomes enamored with him. Kidman makes the infatuated Isabel cute, funny and charismatic. Unfortunately, as Ferrell and Kidman begin to interact, it is apparent that they have no chemistry.

Ferrell's acting skill falls behind Kidman's amazing abilities. In this film, Ferrell attempts to comically depict a stereotypically big-headed and arrogant actor. Instead, Ferrell portrays Jack almost mentally deficient, the same character he tried before in the film "Anchorman." Ferrell's overdone and constant stupidity undermines Jack's ability to become a respectable main character. Instead of drawing sympathy from the audience, Ferrell alienates himself and detracts from the overall appeal of the movie.

The story gets a shot of adrenaline when Isabel discovers Jack's selfish plans. The audience hopes she uses some of her powers to hex the egocentric actor. Instead, Isabel ends up feeling guilty and removes the hex. The plot falls apart instantly. The audience is back to square one. "Bewitched" ends up being sappy, boring romantic comedy that is, above all, predictable.

Not only is the film predictable, it also failed to make the remake worthwhile. For a film that is shot about 40 years after the original, the special effects were incredibly cheesy and dated. Although "Bewitched" was supposed to be a remake of the TV series, the film should have been able to provide a fresh new angle, especially with modern technology. Ephron had a great chance to make the movie "magical," but she didn't.

In the end, the only "magical" aspect of the movie was Kidman. Although she provides the film with versatile acting ability and darling nose-twitching, it isn't enough to make up for Ferrell's exaggerated acting and the movie's own trite plotline.

"Bewitched" (90 minutes) is rated PG-13 for some in inappropriate language, sexual and drug references, as well as partial nudity.

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  • Alice on July 6, 2005 at 9:07 PM
    Hey mer...nice work! The dominant impression is set well in your lede, and you have provided much commentary on the acting =) I love how you talked about previous films the actors where in for a comparison. However, I still believe you gave away too much of the plot, especially in the 7th paragraph. I believe you could have taken that paragraph out. Also, it seems like you only talked about the acting. What about music, set, special effects, etc?
  • Nancy on July 9, 2005 at 5:58 PM
    I think you praised Nicole Kidman a bit too much. You keep on emphasising how good she was... and how the rest of the movie sucked. Also, I believe the 3rd paragraph is a little out of place. This article, to me, doesn't flow that smoothly. Especially the 3 to 6 paragraphs. And also try to focus on other aspects other than acting (in agreement w/Alice). I liked how your article was informative and to the point, esp the first sentence. So, sorry if this wasn't helpful.
  • yo on July 10, 2005 at 6:39 PM
    Hey Merlyn, great job!
  • Wenjia on July 11, 2005 at 4:56 PM
    haha, very very good. I love your voice in this article. Snazzy title. Great introduction. I have to agree with Alice about the plot stuff. Hmm, you also seem to have a particular bias for Nicole Kidman XD. I mean, her acting wasn't bad but it wasn't wonderful either. In fact I found her acting to be quite exaggerated at some parts...but that could just be me. Yeah, the plot was extremely predictable, but eh,I don't think this movie was made to attract viewers with a twisty heart-wrenching storyline. Anyways, wow, this is really good, ten times better than that sorry attempt of a movie review that I wrote.
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