on June 24, 2005 by Christine James
Calling Dr. Bombay! This attempt to resuscitate the fun and clever '60s witch-com is flatlining. We need an infusion of Hollywood magic, romantic alchemy and whimsical enchantment, stat!

Nicole Kidman as Isabel Bigelow looks the part of a modern-day Samantha Stephens-esque witch who's trying to fit into the mortal realm, but her breathy naif is no match for Elizabeth Montgomery's spirited sorceress. Will Ferrell as Jack Wyatt, an egomaniacal actor cast as Darrin Stephens in the TV show-within-the-movie remake of "Bewitched," does his Will Ferrell stuff with little help from zeitgeist-elapsed co-scripters Nora and Delia Ephron.

Jack begs Isabel to co-star opposite him when he sees her wiggle her nose, emulating his onscreen wife's signature tinka-tinka-tee spell trigger; Isabel agrees out of a misguided attraction. But when she learns she's being played for a fool, she taps into the Dark Arts to wreak revenge. For about a minute. Then she decides that's wrong and opts to do things the boring mortal way. Where would the original "Bewitched" be if Sam actually did things the boring mortal way? It would have disappeared into the ether, just like this occasionally amusing but entirely forgettable film does moments after the screen goes dark. Starring Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Michael Caine, Kristin Chenoweth, Shirley MacLaine, Jason Schwartzman and Steve Carell. Directed by Nora Ephron. Written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron. Produced by Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Penny Marshall and Nora Ephron. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for some language, including sex and drug references, and partial nudity. Running time: 100 min

Tags: Will Ferrell, Michael Caine, Kristin Chenoweth, Shirley MacLaine, Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Nicole Kidman, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Carell, Delia Ephron, romance, witchcraft, magic, television, remake, adaptation, filmmaking, spoof

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