Bewitched is a 2005 comedy-fantasy produced by Columbia Pictures and is are-imagining of the television series of the same name (produced by Columbia's Screen Gems television studio, now Sony Pictures Television). The film was released in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2005. It was written, produced, and directed by Nora Ephron and featured as co-stars Nicole Mankind Will Ferrell. Filming took place in late 2004 and early 2005.

Plot Edit

Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) is a narcissistic actor who is approached to play the role of Darrin in a remake of the classic sitcom Bewitched, but insists that an unknown play Samantha.

Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) is an actual witch who decides she wants to be normal and moves to Los Angeles to start a new life and becomes friends with her neighbor Maria (Kristin Chenoweth). She goes to a bookstore to learn how to get a job after seeing an advertisement of Ed McMahon on TV. Jack happens to be at the same bookstore after attending some failed Samantha auditions. Jack spots Isabel and persuades her to audition. At the same time, while she's trying to settle into her new life, Isabel's intrusive father Nigel (Michael Caine) keeps appearing to convince her to return home, despite several rejections from Isabel. After Isabel impresses the show's producers and writers (played by Stephen Colbert, David Alan Grier and Jim Turner), Jack finally convinces Isabel to join the show. Also joining the show is legendary actress Iris Smythson (Shirley MacLaine) as Endora. After a successful taping of the first episode, Isabel happens to overhear a conversation Jack is having with his agent Ritchie (Jason Schwartzman), who are talking about how they tricked Isabel to appear without having any lines. Furious, Isabel storms off with Maria and new friend Nina close behind. She decides she only has three choices: quit, get mad, or live with it. Instead, Isabel's Aunt Clara visits and aids Isabel in casting a spell on Jack in order to make him fall in love with her. At the same time, Nigel is introduced to Iris and becomes infatuated with her.

The hex works and Jack becomes love struck by Isabel, insisting on several script changes to give her some dialogue and jokes, ignoring statements from test groups preferring Isabel over him. Jack's affection for Isabel grows and he asks her out on a date, making Isabel forget about the hex. But when he brings her home, she remembers and reverses it back to when she and Aunt Clara cast it. The next day, rather than the events the hex presented, Jack is outraged by the scores he received and takes his anger out on Isabel, who lashes back at him. Ritchie fires her, and she storms off. Rather than be angry at Isabel, Jack is fascinated with Isabel and chases after her, taking all her comments into thought. So, after another great taping (with Isabel getting dialogue), a love blossoms between the two. But the next day, Jack's ex-wife Sheila arrives, determined to woo Jack back. Isabel sees this and casts a spell on her making her sign the divorce papers and have her decide to move to Iceland. Jack, thrilled, announces he will be throwing a party at his house celebrating the divorce.

Nigel attends the party with Iris and when Nigel begins flirting with much younger guests. Iris reveals she is also a witch and casts a spell on each girl. When Jack makes a toast stating truth will be revealed with everyone, Isabel decides to tell Jack she's a witch. At first thinking she's an amateur magician, Jack officially believes her when she levitates him with her broom. Jack becomes frightened and shoos her away with a stick. Offended, Isabel flies off.

Jack takes this hard, being brought to the studios by the police and becoming disenchanted with the project. Isabel decides to return home as she no longer wishes to stay. Jack, imagining himself on the Conan O'Brien Show, is visited by Uncle Arthur (Steve Carell). Arthur convinces Jack not to let Isabel leave, because Jack still loves her and wouldn't be able to return for 100 years (which is later proven to be a lie Arthur made up to inspire Jack). Arthur drives him to the studio where he finds Isabel at the set. Jack apologizes to her and tells her he wants to marry her. They do and move into their new neighborhood (which resembles the neighborhood in the series).

Cast Edit

  • Nicole Kidman as Isabel Bigelow / Samantha Stephens
  • Will Ferrell as Jack Wyatt / Darrin Stephens
  • Shirley MacLaine as Iris Smythson / Endora
  • Michael Caine as Nigel Bigelow
  • Jason Schwartzman as Ritchie
  • Kristin Chenoweth as Maria Kelly
  • Heather Burns as Nina
  • Jim Turner as Larry
  • Stephen Colbert as Stu Robison
  • David Alan Grier as Jim Fields
  • Michael Badalucco as Joey Props
  • Katie Finneran as Sheila Wyatt

Characters from the series Edit

  • Carole Shelley as Aunt Clara
  • Steve Carell as Uncle Arthur
  • Amy Sedaris as Gladys Kravitz
  • Richard Kind as Abner Kravitz
  • Elizabeth Montgomery (uncredited) as Samantha Stephens (archive footage)
  • Dick York (uncredited) as Darrin Stephens (archive footage)
  • Agnes Moorehead (uncredited) as Endora (archive footage)
  • Paul Lynde (uncredited) as Uncle Arthur (archive footage)

Cameo appearances Edit

  • Ed McMahon as Himself
  • Conan O'Brien as Himself
  • James Lipton as Himself
  • Nick Lachey as Vietnam Soldier
  • Kate Walsh as Waitress
  • Abbey McBride as Auditioner
  • Teri Robinson as the witch

Reception Edit

The movie received negative reviews from critics, and by many of the original show's fanbase. Budgeted at $85 million, the worldwide gross of $131,413,159 was considered disappointing.Rotten Tomatoes reported that 24% of the critics gave positive reviews, based upon 182 reviews. The total US gross was $63,313,159, with international at $68,100,000.

Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell's on-screen pairing was found lacking by moviegoers and earned the two a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple. It was also nominated for Worst Director, Worst Actor (Will Ferrell), Worst Screenplay and Worst Remake or Sequel. The New York Times called the film "an unmitigated disaster".

Home media Edit

The DVD was released on October 25, 2005, by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It included deleted scenes such as Jack and Isabel's wedding and an extended version of Isabel getting mad, several making-of featurettes, a trivia game, and an audio commentary by the director.

In popular culture Edit

In a season six episode of Gilmore Girls, Luke and Lorelai bicker about movies including Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sithand Bewitched. While Luke comments on "the upper ground" and "those flash-light thingys" from the latest Star Wars film, Lorelai says he cannot criticize the movie because he wanted to see it. Luke then accuses of her of doing the same about Bewitched. Lorelai agrees that Nicole Kidman was a good choice but was appalled that Larry Tate was not included in the film.

The Family Guy episode "Jungle Love" features a cutaway gag mocking the movie after Stewie complains about paying to see it. In the scene, Stewie watches a short parody of the movie, in which Kidman's character says "Guess what, I'm a witch!" and Ferrell replies "Guess what, I'm a Clippers fan!" The audience in the cinema laughs at this, which infuriates Stewie so much that he flies to Ferrell's house in Los Angeles to punch him in the face, exclaiming "That's not funny!"

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