Practical Magic [1998]

Director: Griffin Dunne
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, Goran Visnjic
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 104 minutes

Actor Griffin Dunne improves a bit on his first film as a director, Addicted to Love, with this drama-comedy about a family of witches. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock play spell-casting sisters of different temperaments: the former is a high-living, free-spirited sort, while Bullock's character is a homebody who can't get around a family curse that kills the men in their lives. A widowed single mom, Bullock gets into a jam with an abusive Bulgarian (Goran Visnjic) and is helped out by her sibling, but the result brings a good-looking, warm, inquisitive cop (Aidan Quinn) into their lives. The film has a variety of tonal changes--cute, scary, glum--that Dunne can't always effectively juggle. But the female-centric, celebratory nature of the film (the fantasies, the sharing, the witchy bonds) is infectious, and supporting roles by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing as Kidman and Bullock's magical aunts are a lot of fun. --Tom Keogh

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