Everyone has their collection of movies they watch around Halloween time, and Practical Magic is one that should always make the list. After more than 20 years, an article from Elle had much to say about why the movie still makes a repeated impact on movie lovers each year.
Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, is streaming on Hulu.
If not for the fabulous fashion choices made by its two lead characters (Sally and Gillian, played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman), the witchy, fall-centered vibe of the movie keeps people coming back for more. Though the movie was considered a financial flop when it first premiered in theaters in 1998, the time since its release has morphed this film into a cult classic.
Produced on a $75 million budget, the box office presentation of Practical Magic only brought in around a little more than $68 million in proceeds worldwide. After a decent opening weekend, the film’s theater attendance quickly tanked.
Critics weren’t too happy with the film either. Some said that Practical Magic just seemed like a bunch of different snippets of various movie genres smashed together in hopes of becoming a whole movie.
Rotten Tomatoes only gives the movie a 24 percent rating on the Tomatometer, but the audience rating is much higher at 73 percent with more than 100,000 individual ratings, proving that moviegoers found more merit in the film than the critics.
Produced on a $75 million budget, the box office presentation of Practical Magic only brought in around a little more than $68 million in proceeds worldwide.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Practical Magic, the film centers around the lives of the Owens sisters, Gillian (Nicole Kidman) and Sally (Sandra Bullock). The Owens women have lived under a dark spell for hundreds of years.
Whenever an Owens woman falls in love, whomever they love ends up dying. Ultimately orphaned by the spell, Sally and Gillian are raised from childhood by their aunts Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Weist), who are also witches (of course). The aunts purpose themselves to teach the young girls Practical Magic as they grow.
After witnessing a woman who comes to the aunts for a powerful love spell, Sally decides she never wants to fall in love and casts a spell that she can only fall in love with a man who can ride a pony backward, has one blue eye and one green eye, can flip pancakes in the air, is marvelously kind, and whose favorite shape is a star.
With such a ridiculous list of must-haves, Sally is sure she won’t ever have to deal with the woes of love or, worse, losing the man she loves. However, her story in Practical Magic doesn’t quite go as planned, as she soon finds out that such a man does exist.
Practical Magic isn’t simply a movie about magic but a movie about women.
Of course, there’s much more to the story than just Sally and her strange requirements for love. Gillian, who chose to throw herself into love every chance she got along the way, has picked up an abusive lover who turns into quite a large problem for the Owens sisters as the movie progresses.
Throughout the film, the connection and strength of the lead women drive the story forward. Practical Magic isn’t simply a movie about magic but a movie about women. The story highlights the power of togetherness, and in the end, everyone except the abusive lover seems to find a happy ending.
If you want to keep the vibe alive this year and feast your eyes on this gem of a movie once more, you can find Practical Magic streaming on Hulu for those who have a subscription to the channel.