Friday, October 7, 2022

31 Days of Scary Movies: “Practical Magic”


Last night was one of my favorite nights of the year. The night, in October, when I watch one of my favorite movies— one that I watch several times a year— “Practical Magic.” Released to success in 1998, the film has since on home video and streaming become an autumnal cult classic among those who love magic and witches. 

 Based on the Alice Hoffman novel of the same name, the film takes several liberties from the novel, and they all work beautifully. “Practical Magic” is a beauty story of sisterhood, love, family and being different, told in only the way that witchcraft can. In more recent years, Hoffman has written now three sequel novels: “The Rules of Magic,” a prequel about the aunts Jet and Frannie and their backstory; “Magic Lessons,” the Owens’ family ancestor Maria’s backstory, and “The Book of Magic” and sequel that follows our beloved characters after the events of “Practical Magic.” For the few years, a series adaptation of “The Rules of Magic” has been in the works at HBO, and I sincerely hope it happens, as it is my favorite novel in the series, and one of my all time favorites. They also need to make it, so that a proper adaptation of “The Book of Magic” can be done; a story that practically begs for Bullock, Kidman, Weist and Channing to reunite and tell.

 Back to the magic of the film at hand. The story is beautiful. The lines I know by heart. The comfort is all around, and I will never tire of watching it. For plot points so fantastical, so much is said so aptly about human relationships, how we survive and the family we keep along the way. 

 Things that struck me on this viewing. The chemistry between all our actors; especially Kidman and Bullock and Channing and Weist. Also, the young actors who play Bullock’s daughters are so good. The house, oh goodness the house. Few houses on film, gorgeous and old and sprawling and covered with cats and books and plants and love— and a greenhouse— make me want to live in them more. Part of me always will live, however, in the house with rosemary planted by the garden gate. And where I fall in love as often as I can. 

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