All About Practical Magic

Practical Magic horizontal poster

“There are some things I know for certain: always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”

It’s spooky season, and what am I doing? I’m going to watch Practical Magic for the millionth time as part of my yearly October tradition.👻

Despite having a rotten rating of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes (73% audience score), I think we can all agree that the following this movie has built has catapulted it into minor cult classic stardom in the last couple decades.

house in practical magic

Few films check the boxes of girl power and entertaining for me, but this movie is super special. It’s more than just a “tonally confused rom-com” and actually resonates as a story of women’s resilience more than 20 years later.

Audiences felt indifferent toward the movie when it premiered in 1998, and it even failed to break even at the box office.

practical magic slut quote

 Roger Ebert called it “too scary for children and too childish for adults,” accusing the film of “veering uncertainly from horror to laughs to romance.” Angie Errigo wrote for Empire that “Practical Magic is a chick movie with multiple personality disorder” while also calling it “a run-of-the-mill rom-com with magic bells on.”

What do they know though, right?

“It seems, in hindsight, that critics didn’t know what to do with a movie that mixed genres so brazenly, and that — though the story happened to be about witches — reflected both the dark and the light that often sit side by side in real life. Practical Magic’s blend of tones is not its downfall: It is the film’s biggest strength.” via Buzzfeed News

I don’t understand why this movie was such a dud in the witchy 90s landscape. It fell alongside classics like The Craft, Charmed (debuted the same week as Practical Magic), and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But apparently, the fun, feel-good movie could have been a lot darker. According to co-writer Akiva Goldsman, the original cut was a darker, different, and “stunningly beautiful” take on the material. Wait…there’s another cut!??!

“It was more of a ghost story. It was really beautiful. It was weird… It got caught up in a sort of marketing thing at Warner Bros. as it moved forward in a way that I think didn’t serve it ultimately.” via Collider

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Pre-Covid had also green-lit a prequel series with HBO set in the 1960s following the lives of the two aunts. Sad to say…save your midnight margaritas, because the prequel never saw the light of day.

Here’s the summary full press release of the series, per Variety:

“Set in 1960s New York City, the series follows three troubled siblings—Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens—who wrestle with “abnormalities that have kept them isolated. But the tumultuous times unearth the extraordinary discovery that they are, in fact, descendants of a bloodline of witches. The two sisters will become the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in ‘Practical Magic,’ while their brother will leave an unexpected legacy.”

midnight margaritas gif

While it’s sometimes corny and flawed, if Practical Magic teaches us anything, it’s that movies can amount to more than initial reception.

Practical Magic is not interested in showing us the pain without also showing us that, complicated as the journey may be, there is still life left to be lived on the other side of that hurt.” via BuzzFeed News

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11 thoughts on “All About Practical Magic”

  1. Despite the fact that it was co-written by that no-talent hack Akiva Goldsman, I do think this is an awesome film and certainly a fun one that should become a Halloween staple. Plus, it’s just so re-watchable and that 23% rating is bullshit. Oh, and I love the fact that the film features a young ERW.

      1. I love Roger Ebert but there’s times he was wrong. He didn’t like A Clockwork Orange and was wrong about that film. He praised Speed 2 and well… he was wrong. He didn’t like Wet Hot American Summer but he did write a very funny review on that film.

        He’s one of the few that I cared about. Everyone else, not so much.

        Glad to know there’s some love for ERW. I hope one of the days, she gets to kick Amber Turd’s ass as Turd’s fans have been dragging ERW’s name in the mud. Man, they’re imbeciles.

      2. You know that Evan has been dealing with some shit relating to that awful relationship with Marilyn Manson as I’m sure you know about his friendship with Johnny Depp (or maybe that friendship is dead). Well, Evan read some things about the whole case and seemingly was siding with Turd and then things got bad when Turd insinuated that she and Evan are friends through some pictures that were posted. Evan was then like “whoa, wait a minute. I don’t know you like that” and Turd’s stupid stans decided to say some awful shit about Evan and all of that proving that they’re a bunch of fucking assholes.

        Yet, Evan is still working and doing good things such as that Weird Al movie that’s coming next month on Roku as she and Daniel Radcliffe are going to spend some time doing a campaign to get Weird Al his Oscar.

      3. Amber Turd is an awful person. In fact, I think she and Manson would make a great couple. They’re abusive, they’re manipulative, and they’re full of shit.

      4. Not a very good one and the claims that she is a box office draw. All I can say… HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA. She’s good in Aquaman and a few other films but that’s it. I don’t think she’s that good.

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