Practical Magic

Bomb Rating: 

After getting up from my seat and wandering around in a funk, I had toask the theater manager whether I had just seen "Practical Magic" or the video compilation soundtrack album to "Practical Magic." He insisted that was the film as they had received it; I insisted that he was some kind of media goon from MTV looking for a new outlet for music videos since his network had turned into the Screeching Frat Party Channel.

The first half of this film is little more than a loosely connected set of music videos from every hip, female crooner in America as director Griffin ("Addicted to Love") Dunne introduces us to the Owens sisters and the curse on their family. It seems that any guy they fall in love with is cursed to die in some horrible accident. Thus, when Sally (Sandra Bullock) marries, her hubby croaks a few years later. Sister Gillian (Nicole Kidman) just avoids the whole problem by nailing a take-a-number machine to the head of her bed.

After the medley of PMS hits, Dunne eventually gets around to the meat of the story -- Gillian's beau, Jimmy (Goran Visnjic), turns out to be a psychopath, so Sally and Gillian use some of their magic on him and accidentally kill him. This draws Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn), an investigator from Texas. These are the only two men in the film -- a psychopath and a sensitive girlie man. It's sort of the madonna-whore complex in reverse.

Although this is clearly a chick flick, it's directed by a man -- if you want to call Griffin Dunne a man. Let's face it, real men don't make women's films; they merely tolerate them. Christ, you can't walk a block in L.A. without bumping into a psychotherapist, yet Griffin wants to face his anima on screen. Look, why not just go all the way? Get a female director. Eliminate male characters altogether. No men on the set either. And while you're at it, cut all the boom mikes in half and bar long johns from the donut box.

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