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Practical Magic

When I say I’m “emotionally unavailable” I mean that my heart is dedicated entirely to Sandra Bullock in this movie


Release date: October 16, 1998
Director: Griffin Dunne
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: Folks who just discovered Witchtok. People whose favorite holiday is Halloween. 

When should you watch this movie: On a crisp autumn evening in New England. 

The sell: There are a lot of reasons to love this movie. First and foremost, Sandra Bullock’s performance as Sally is fabulous. Energetic but grounded, she plays perfectly off of Nicole Kidman’s equally stellar portrayal of Gillian. The chemistry between these two accounts for much of this movie’s strength. Second, despite revolving around themes of love and (heterosexual) relationships, the female friendships are more compelling and end up eclipsing the men entirely. However, this contributes to a larger tension throughout the movie: Practical Magic can’t quite seem to pin down what it’s about. For a movie that’s nominally about romance, it spends very little time exploring romantic relationships while far more screen time is dedicated to family and community dynamics. Furthermore, there is some dark shit in this movie, which clashes with the otherwise charming tone. It feels as though two movies, one about a pair of powerful witch sisters struggling with the consequences of magic, and one about a woman learning to open her heart to love, were clumsily smashed together. That being said, this movie is still an absolute joy to watch, if for no other reason than the 90s fashion and nostalgia. Though this movie aged better than others of the same time, I wouldn’t hate to see an updated reboot.


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