Bewitched is an attempt to side-step the usual pitfalls of turning a beloved television show into a movie. Will Ferrell stars as Jack Wyatt, a spoiled movie star whose career has seen better days. In hope of comeback he takes on the role of Darren in a television update of Bewitched. Prompted by his agent, Wyatt insists that a newcomer play Samantha, and he finds the perfect person in the form of Isabel, played by Nicole Kidman. Here’s the twist—Isabel is a real-life witch who is trying to go straight and give up witchcraft in return for a normal life. Here the hilarity begins. Or, at least it should.
God help me, as much as I like Nicole Kidman, she simply isn’t funny. She excels in heavy, meatier roles like Anna in the underrated Birth from last year, but when it comes to lighter fare like The Stepford Wives and Bewitched she proves that she’s no Groucho Marx.
Will Ferrell tries hard for the laughs here—maybe too hard. He’s a performer that I like watching—I thought Elf and Anchorman were both hilarious—but, sadly, I’m beginning to realize that a little Will goes a long way. The one two punch of Kicking and Screaming, his lame soccer-dad movie from May and now this is more hammyness than even Porky Pig could handle.
Bewitched is a uneasy mixture of special effects movie and romantic comedy without ever really committing to either one.
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