In 1964, Bewitched was one of the most watched television sitcoms in America. It was the story of Samantha, a wife and mother who also happened to be a witch. It was as popular a show then as it is in syndication and anticipation over the beloved characters coming to theatres was high.
Will Ferrell is Jack, a struggling actor with a rapidly declining Hollywood career that was never really doing very well to begin with. Still determined to make it big, he comes up with the brilliant idea of making the old television show Bewitched into a movie. He uses what little influence he has left to cast himself in the lead role of the film and get the right to choose the lead actress for the coveted role of Samantha. He meets lovely Isabel (Nicole Kidman) who really is a witch, but trying to abandon her craft for reasons never disclosed to us.
Since his hope is riding on the success of this film, Jack tries hard to win Isabel's trust. When she agrees to star in the film, he is elated, but when Isabel discovers Jack's real motives for wooing her, everything falls apart. Jack realizes he does love Isabel and avoiding her vengeful magic, tries everything to win her back.
Separately, Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman are fine actors. I personally think that Will Ferrell is hilarious, and although this wasn't his funniest role, he was very funny and had great comic timing. It was a pleasant surprise to see how easy-going Kidman was in her role. She was light and funny, perky and just a bit naughty. She has the nose wiggle down pat; try it in the mirror, it isn't as easy as you'd think. Unfortunately, between the two, there was no chemistry. They just weren't believable as two strangers who fall for each other.
From the director of several hits including "Sleepless In Seattle," and "You've Got Mail," I expected a much funnier movie from Nora Ephron. There were lots of unanswered questions in this movie. Certain characters make strange appearances - strange because their presence is never really explained or followed up. There are several odd moments - dream sequences, which the director appears to add in lieu of actually letting the plot flow, side plots that are never completed, and a surprisingly low amount of special effects, which one would expect extensive effects in a movie about the supernatural.
Bewitched was a disappointment. It had a lot of potential, and it seems that most involved made a good effort, but the "magic" just wasn't there. Well known critics are raking this movie over the coals, but it isn't a terrible movie, just not a very good one.
Tidbits About the Movie
Did You Know? Jim Carrey was actually the first choice for the male lead role, but he was involved in another film.