(Edited note: Podcast was on my parenting website and is now gone. 1/27/1016 Text is as follows.)
With a twitch of her nose and a sparkling smile Samantha Steven Bewitched us for eight seasons on ABC. That’s 252 magical episodes we enjoyed the intelligent comedy of a modern witch married to a mortal. Girls everywhere wanted to be Samantha while boys everywhere wanted to marry her.
The television show has endured through the years in syndication, allowing several generations to enjoy the witty comedy of Bewitched. Many today will remember growing up with Bewitched back to back with I Dream of Jeannie, oh what a pair of magical ladies!
With a television show that broached history, society, government, marital relationships, and dare we say the relationship of in-laws, there’s nary a subject that Bewitched didn’t touch on. Or a problem that Samantha couldn’t solve with a twitch of her nose and a clever explanation!
Season 1 of Bewitched hit stores in DVD format, fully colourized, in time for Hollywood to release yet another in a long line of classic television turned major motion picture. Fans will no doubt discuss at length the colourization of the classic black and white episodes. However the debates of the movie will most likely be longer and more heated.
Nested inside two slimmy-cases, the DVD set comes with a free movie ticket. Eagerly snatching that up, this fan raced to see the movie.
After buying my movie snacks at the concession stand and finding a seat, I prepared myself for the new Bewitched movie. I already knew the plotline; this is a movie about people recreating Bewitched today. A movie about a movie being made? Definitely a hinky plot that could go wrong in so many ways. My hopes were not high, but I had heard that this plot really works well on the screen so I was willing to let myself give them a chance because I am such a fan of Bewitched.
My bigger problems with the show were the casting of Nicole Kidman as Samantha and not having Endora. Nicole Kidman is most definitely not worthy of Elizabeth Montgomery’s part, but the rest of the cast was so great I decided to forgive this major mistake. With Penny Marshall working behind the scenes, a cast that is stellar, even Nicole should be able to pull this off. As for Endora, Shirley MacLaine was cast to play the actress portraying Endora. Now I don’t think anyone can touch Agnes Moorehead’s portrayal of spiteful mother-in-law Endora, however Shirley MacLaine as this part proves sheer genius and can pull it off. To have her just being an actress portraying Endora? What a shame. I longed to see her pop into the living room in a great puff of smoke and turn Will Ferrell into a newt! Hey, he would get better!
The movie captured the charm of Bewitched from the start. The laughs just kept coming! Will Ferrell stole the show, hands down. Shirley MacLaine captured the role of Iris playing Endora. We won’t even get into Michael Caine nailing the part as the true warlock father to Nicole’s character.
The entire movie shone brightly. Nicole Kidmans’ performance was better than average so that was a nice treat. However she used this breathy voice that just made me think of Marilyn Monroe impersonators singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” At the start of the movie it was annoying and by the end you wanted to put duct tape over her mouth to shut her up. But, you are able to survive because of everything else.
Dare I talk about the plot? With so many fans up at arms? I must admit, I too was leery. I am excited to say though, it works! It really, really works! As a fan of the television series, I liked how the “cast” and “crew” as well as the “fans” discussed the original. They had classic Bewitched paraphernalia, they commented on their love of the show, the movie was able to really say, “We really adored Bewitched and the cast and this movie is coming from that.” It was a true homage, and made no bones about it!
The one thing I enjoyed most actually WAS the story. You go from a plot that you just aren’t sure about to loving it. In the original series, we never really saw how Darrin and Samantha fell in love. We get a couple of minutes of background “bumped into each other,” but basically you start off with them married and Samantha revealing her witchly nature. This really explores why this witch is in the mortal world and why she would date a mortal. It delves into the romance and how this witch struggles with her growing feelings for a mortal and how she’s so worried he won’t accept her. It shines a stage light on how we all fight the urges to cast evil eyes to those who hurt us, or get between us and a crush. This movie is actually that first five minutes of the TV series. It is the story of how and why that average boy and supposedly average girl meet and fall in love.
I give the movie four and a half bewitching stars out of five. I’ll definitely be in line to purchase this movie on DVD when it is released. The movie is very kid friendly. The only problem scene was Will Ferrell going onto Conan and his clothes magically missing. In proper Bewitched style, all Will parts are fuzzed out by censors!
The acting, the story, the homage, the effects will charm you. Cast aside your doubts and check it out. You won’t be sorry! Just don’t get too large a drink, you’ll be laughing too hard and I’d hate to see you snort or spray your beverage!
As originally seen on sirmegabyte.info 7/1/2005
Editor’s note: I just rewatched this movie over the weekend. The charm still speaks to me. I know it got a lot of hate, but I still feel like it was an homage. I dig quirky, and seeing spun with the story of “We’re remaking Bewitched” worked for me. I also liked the episode of Hercules set in present day where Kevin Sorbo is Hercules pretending to be Kevin Sorbo playing Hercules. 1/27/2015