A/V Room









Bewitched - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

HAVING already starred in one duff remake (The Stepford Wives), one would hope that Nicole Kidman has learned her lesson.

Yet it remains to be seen whether the presence of Will Ferrell can prevent Bewitched from becoming another of those updates which prompts the inevitable question - 'why did they bother'?

Certainly, the omens look good. The trailer looks funny and co-writer-director, Nora Ephron, appears to have found a genuinely worthwhile contemporary spin.

The film focuses on Ferrell's Jack Wyatt, a down-on-his-luck actor who attempts to revive his career by playing the lead role in a big-screen remake of the old Bewitched television show.

As chauvinistic as ever, Wyatt insists on overseeing the casting and eventually picks Nicole Kidman's Isabel as his big-screen co-star.

What he doesn't realise, however, is that Isabel is actually a witch, who has come to the Valley in search of a normal life against the advice of her father (Michael Caine).

When Isabel realises that Jack can't be trusted, however, she sets about putting her magic to work, placing her egotistical male lead in all manner of compromising situations.

The film co-stars Shirley MacLaine and Steve Carrell and boasts some writing assistance from Anchorman writer-director, Adam McKay, who has turned the script more Ferrell-friendly.

Yet while the blend would seem like a good one, it's worth noting that it has taken five decades to bring Bewitched to the big screen.

Notes Ephron: "The studio has already screwed up six or seven times trying to keep it in the world of Bewitched, but we didn't want to do that. We wanted it to be contemporary."

It remains to be seen whether they have done that successfully.

Although it is worth noting, too, that the film was originally muted as a project for Kidman and Jim Carrey, who subsequently opted for the Fun With Dick and Jane remake.

Ferrell, however, was an immediate second choice whose comic ability was not lost on Kidman - a self-confessed fan of Ferrell's Frank the Tank in Old School.

'Sweet mother of Zeus, we didn't see that one coming!'

Bewitched is due to open in UK cinemas on August 19, 2005.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z