Directed by Griffin Dunne
Running Time: 1:44
Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense thematic elements and sensuality

I enjoyed Practical Magic. Some of it didn't make sense, but the characters were likeable, and were well acted, so overall it was fun to watch.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as Sally and Gillian Owens. Both are witches, although Sally doesn't really want to be one. The legend is, throughout all time, any man who falls in love with an Owen, shall die. It's a curse started by the oldest Owens witch there was, and one that has been passed down through each generation. Gillian accepts this, and goes galavanting off, having fun and living life to the fullest. Sally fears falling in love, but one day she does. She gets married and has two kids, but the curse comes true, and her husband dies. One day she gets a frantic call from Gillian. It seems the current boyfriend of Gillian has taken to hitting her, and the sisters try to escape, only to end up killing the boyfriend. Twice. A mysterious law enforcement agent comes to investigate (Aidan Quinn) and he and Sally fall for each other. That's the basic story in a nutshell.

The story seemed to go quickly from one plot point to the next. Near the beginning of the movie, Gillian leaves Sally and heads off on her own. I'm not really sure why she did that, but she disappeared for a while, and the movie really focused on Sally. When Sally was younger, she cast a spell, looking for a man who couldn't exist. She did it because she was afraid of falling in love, but then all of a sudden she was married with two kids. I didn't understand why they would make a point to show that she didn't want to fall in love, and then a few seconds later, she was in love (although you do find out her two Aunts had something to do with it). At the time it just seemed like a jump without an explanation. And the idea of witchcraft really never came into play. It was used only slightly, and mostly just for comic effect, until the very end of the movie. It was more like there was a story that wanted to be told, and they made the main characters witches to add a little spice to the whole thing.

Both Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman did good jobs as the two main witches. Bullock was the wholesome, good natured witch who just wanted to raise her kids and stay away from witchcraft, while Kidman was the red-headed sex kitten who just wanted to have fun. I think Bullock has kept her crown as runner-up in the America's Sweetheart race (with Meg Ryan still in first). And let me just say Tom Cruise is a very lucky man. Aidan Quinn was his normal quiet, good looking self, which he was supposed to be, since his character wasn't supposed to be able to exist. I really liked Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest as the two aunts. They brought a lot of humor and charm to the film, as well as giving a sort of spiritual backbone to the movie. And all the kids in the film were good too.

The true story I think was about accepting who and what you are, and not feeling that you have to blend in with the rest of the world. If you try and hide who you are, people are just going to guess who you are, and whether they're right or wrong, they'll believe what they want. But if you come out and say you're a witch, they'll have an easier time accepting you. If you can show them that you are like them, just different, they'll let you into their lives. Believe in who you are, and everyone around you will believe in you too. That's what I thought the movie was about. And that's why I liked it. So overall, the actual story felt jumpy, but the idea behind it came through. Practical Magic was a lot of fun, and still had a message that I think we should all take to heart: Just be yourself.

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