October is here, which means it’s the season for pumpkin spice everything, cold weather, and Halloween plans. For those of us who plan on staying in this Halloween with their significant other, Netflix instant boasts a great movie with the right amount of frightening, charming, and romantic scenes that any couple could enjoy it.
Practical Magic (1998) is based on Alice Hoffman’s 1995 novel of the same name. In this movie, a curse on a family of witches causes all of their husbands to die. In an effort to prevent a heartbreak, Sally Owens (Sandra Bullock) casts a spell on herself to where she’ll only fall in love with a man with “rare attributes,” such as having two different-colored eyes and being able to flip pancakes. Her sister, Gillian (Nicole Kidman), on the other hand can’t wait to get married and runs off to Arizona for a life of parties. Eventually, Sally gets married and has two daughters. Once her husband dies, she moves back in with her aunts Jet (Dianne Wiest) and Frances (Stockard Channing), who took care of her and Gillian when their parents died and provide comic relief for much of the film.
When Sally gets a telekinetic distress signal from Gillian, she has to travel to a motel to rescue her from her abusive “Transylvanian cowboy” boyfriend, Jimmy (Goran Visnjic). Once they get back home, an investigator (Aidan Quinn) traces them all the way from Arizona about the disappearance of Jimmy, but things get interesting for Sally once they find out that he has two different-colored eyes and can flip pancakes.
This film’s highlights include a surprisingly dramatic, romantic, and comedic plot. The only and rather large downside is that it’s hard to keep up with the tone. It can switch from charming to frightening in an instant, so it’s difficult to know whether I should laugh or be on edge. However, this movie teaches you that no matter where you go in life, you always have your roots and your family to be there for you, whether you like it or not. I think viewers will also get a spooky treat about overcoming everything that life throws at you.
With a rating of PG-13, this film really isn’t meant for children due to sensual scenes and brief dramatic moments. However, I feel that teens and older people will enjoy this, especially fans of American Horror Story: Coven and other paranormal shows and romantic movies. My final word is that even though Practical Magic isn’t perfect, I will still rate it 3 broomsticks out of 5. The strong story about family and witchcraft sets the mood for the Halloween season and leaves you feeling cozy enough to think about grabbing a pumpkin spice latte.
JoJo Welborn is a member of the SHS journalism club and a student of the Yadkin Virtual Academy of Journalism.