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BEWITCHED

Helmed by Nora Ephron (director and co-writer), this "remake" is actually a meta-cinematic "what if?" that begins as a naive witch named Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) arrives in Hollywood determined to live her life without magic. She furnishes a gorgeous new bungalow with a few twitches of her nose, swears off spells, and sets about finding a man who will love the "real" her. Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell), a megalomaniacal actor slated to play Darrin in a forthcoming remake of the í60s TV show Bewitched, "discovers" Isabelís beguiling nose through a bookstore shelf and a star is born. At first, Isabelís role is negligible as Jackís agent (smarmily perfect Jason Schwartzman) insists that Darrin get star billing. Egged on by new neighbor Marie (Wickedís Kristen Chenoweth), Isabel asserts herself on the set, and in her increasingly cozy relationship with Jack. Shirley MacLaine is a cackle as the new Endora, who, shimmying in jewel-toned marabou feathers, charms Isabelís womanizing warlock father (a dapper Michael Caine). But despite a good ensemble cast, a whimsical soundtrack (plenty of Sinatra), and a refreshing, unmannered performance from Kidman, Bewitched fails to enchant: the script leaves some intriguing themes woefully underexplored, and Ferrell is utterly unlikable. For fans of the original show, however, there is the occasional magic twinkle.

BY PEG ALOI

Issue Date: June 24 - 30, 2005
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