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As one of many in the ongoing trend of resurrecting old TV shows and turning them into contemporary Hollywood product,Bewitchedtries awfully hard to distinguish itself. It succeeds in lots of surprising ways, not least of which is the star power brought by Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Even if they don't create the kind of romantic chemistry that would have elevated the already high concept, they act as delightful foils to each other, but more often to themselves. The conceit of thisBewitchedis that it's a self-reflexive look at the entertainment business, with Ferrell playing Jack Wyatt, an actor starring in an updated version of the classic TV show. Out of favor with the Hollywood elite and desperately in need of a hit, he insists on an unknown to play Samantha, as he wants the show to be abouthim, since if something doesn't come his way soon, he's going to be hearing a lot of no's, despite the yes-men surrounding him. While his agent (Jason Schwartzman in hilarious high Hollywood sleaze mode) gets him the "unknown Samantha" deal, it's Jack himself who discovers his own leading lady in the delightful figure of Isabel Bigalow (Kidman), who possesses just the right nose wiggle, not to mention other wiggles.

But wouldn't you know it, Isabel really is a witch, and exactly the kind of "good" witch trying to rely less on her magical powers that Samantha Stevens was back in her "real" world. Instead of a cranky mother like Endora, Isabel has a distinguished father, Nigel (Michael Caine) who lurks around her as a constant reminder that she can't be who she's not (a mere mortal), and she certainly can't be the star of some zany TV show. As the plot thickens and the movie's reflexivity grows more convoluted, Nigel falls for the non-witch actress who plays Endora (Shirley MacLaine), and Jack and Isabel fall for each other. Here's where the Ferrell/Kidman gel doesn’t quite become aspic, but her perkiness (I mean, come on, it is Nicole Kidman, for crying out loud) and his goofiness (Ferrell is at his peak of intelligent bumbling) are more than enough to make the entirety of the proceedings a delectable trifle. Director Nora Ephron has fun skewering her own business in the script she co-wrote with her sister Delia, and her eye for quality craft makes everything sparkle as it should. Even if we have yet to see the definitive remake of an old TV show on the big screen, at least Bewitched is well more than run-of-the-mill as so many adaptations have been, and so many will be. --Ted Fry

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review by . April 29, 2009
This is not a good film by any means though Kidman is gorgeous and Will Farrell seems to recreate a similar obnoxious character to Ron Burgandy. Shirley MacClain is wonderful as the actress playing Endora with a few secrets of her own as is Michael Cain as Kidman's father. The highlights of the movie are the unexpected visits of Aunt Clara (Kidman's aunt) and Uncle Arthur (we are not sure if what he is).     Generally, the movie starts off pretty inept with Kidman bored with …
review by . August 28, 2006
Against anything I could have expected Bewitched was a wonderful, satisfying, make you feel good movie that just happened to be on TV on Monday night. I have always loved the original show ever since I was young, scheduling my nights to Nick at Night, gobbling up Samantha Stevens and her poor husband Darren, who had the best time in their lives, even though she was a witch and her tricks seemed to back fire all the time.    Now this movie is not exactly as you would think. I …
review by . January 04, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Well-intentioned "homage" to the classic TV sitcom, with Nicole Kidman as a real-life witch who finds herself playing Samantha in a remake of the original "Bewitched" TV show. Will Ferrell plays a washed-up actor in the Darrin role, with Shirley MacLaine as the flashy, eccentric diva, tackling the role of Endora.    Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) is a witch trying to live as best she can without the aid of her magical powers, much to the dismay of her warlock father (Michael …
review by . December 06, 2005
This is not a good film by any means though Kidman is gorgeous and Will Farrell seems to recreate a similar obnoxious character to Ron Burgandy. Shirley MacClain is wonderful as the actress playing Endora with a few secrets of her own as is Michael Cain as Kidman's father. The highlights of the movie are the unexpected visits of Aunt Clara (Kidman's aunt) and Uncle Arthur (we are not sure if what he is).    Generally, the movie starts off pretty inept with Kidman bored with her …
review by . June 23, 2005
Pros: None     Cons: Lousy plot, horrible pacing, lame jokes.     The Bottom Line: A total mess, not worth a rental or your time.     Turning a classic Television series into a feature film can be a risky proposition. While the built in audience of Baby Boomers and new fans of a show gained through reruns make remakes a potentially lucrative venture, the hazards of recasting classic characters and modernizing the story to today’s audiences …
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