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Bewitched

Be warned…

The current Hollywood trend of reformatting old television series for the big screen continues with Nora Ephron's romantic comedy, Bewitched. Far from being a standard remake, Ephron attempts something slightly different (which is commendable), but unfortunately it doesn't succeed. Bewitched fails to romance or amuse for the most part.

To Ephron's (Nora and Delia penned the screenplay) credit, Bewitched is a twist on the remake trend. Nicole Kidman plays Isabel (a real life witch) who wants to lead a normal life (sans witchcraft) in Los Angeles. Will Ferrell plays the asinine Jack Wyatt whose acting career is in the toilet. Tapped for the lead in a remake of the old television series, "Bewitched", Wyatt has little choice but to take the gig. The only problem is who will play his witch wife, Samantha?

Naturally, Jack and Isabel cross paths and it's immediately apparent that Isabel is Samantha incarnate. Isabel's nose wiggle is simply cosmic. Naïve to the ways of the "normal" world, Isabel thinks Jack embodies all she is looking for in a "normal" man. Little does she know that she is merely a pawn in Jack's attempts to get himself out of a slump.

Where to begin with this one? Presumably, Kidman's Isabel is supposed to come across as cute and endearing. While Isabel certainly is cute, her naiveté and vapidity wears thin very quickly. This seems like an odd choice of roles for Kidman as she's never done anything quite like this before; it really doesn't suit her.

Will Ferrell is more believable as the self consumed Jack Wyatt. Ferrell provides the requisite prima donna histrionics one would expect from an actor with a grossly bloated ego and on occasion they are vaguely amusing. However, Jack's transformation into an empathetic and caring man in the latter stages of the film doesn't jibe.

Perhaps most implausible (aside from the whole witch thing) is the idea that a romance would ever develop between these two. Isabel is WAY too attractive for the goofy, self-absorbed doofus, Jack Wyatt. Seeing these two canoodling and ogling each other on screen is absurd. While Wyatt has brief, fleeting moments in which he can be vaguely charming, it's just not enough. These two are an odd couple, to say the least.

So, the romance in Bewitched isn't there. Unfortunately, the comedy isn't really there either. Aside from Ferrell's trademark over the top antics (which wear a bit thin here as well), it's hard to find much else that's amusing. Ferrell does his best to carry this film with his comedic gifts, but it just isn't enough to rescue a film that just seems plain hexed.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars