Starring: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine
Director: Nora Ephron
Running Time: 102 mins
Bewitched is an American film about a fading Hollywood actor who attempts to revive his career by relaunching the classic sitcom ‘Bewitched’, and unknowingly hires a witch in the lead role, leading to all sorts of complications.
Quite simply, this isn’t a funny film. It’s a twisted remake of the 60s sitcom, showing the behind-the-scenes world of it all, but it goes completely in the wrong direction, opting for a cheesy romantic comedy rather than trying for something a little different that could have made for more laughs and less annoyance.
The one good thing about this film is that it’s extremely light entertainment. If you’re a rom-com fan, this won’t be your favourite film, but it’s the perfect sort of thing for watching on a sick day, because it requires next to no brain power whatsoever. In fact, the whole story is spelled out to you step by step in the trailer, so there’s nothing in the shape of a surprising or exciting film to upset you.
However, if you want a good film, this really isn’t that. On the comedy front, this fails pretty spectacularly, using very dull, repetitive and predictable slapstick again and again to get its way, and throughout its 102 minute-long runtime, there are about two genuine laughs here.
The reason for that is that the story decides to focus on an extremely forced romantic comedy aspect rather than making a simply funny and entertaining farce. The unexpected romance between the two main stars is thrust upon you ridiculously early on, and there’s very little convincing evidence to support a real love between these two, starting this film off on a very poor base.
As the story unfolds, all sorts of antics involving this woman’s witchcraft and this man’s egoism kick off, but it’s just the same thing happening again and again and again, with little in the way of an emotional or interesting story to give to you.
In terms of the performances, Nicole Kidman is fine. Her character is extremely dull and fake, but she seems to be enjoying herself in the role, as do supporting actors such as Michael Caine and Shirley Maclaine. However, Will Ferrell, in the lead male role, is so annoying. The intention of his character is to be a jerk, but his over-the-top delivery that works in roles like Anchorman falls flat on its face here, and turns him into a constantly irritating screen presence for the entire duration.
Overall, this gets a 5.8, because despite working as a good bit of very light entertainment, this is not a funny film, nor is it at all interesting, it’s a largely irritating, cheesy and unconvincing rom-com.