Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nora Ephron|
|Produced by||Nora Ephron
|Written by||Sol Saks (TV series)
|Music by||George Fenton|
|Editing by||Tia Nolan|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 24, 2005|
|Running time||101 min.|
Bewitched is a 2005 family comedy-fantasy produced by Columbia Pictures and is a re-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 Kidman and Will Ferrell. Filming took place in late 2004 and early 2005.
The film is not an adaptation of the television series, but rather a deconstruction of it. It is about Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman), a young witch who wants to give up magic and have a normal life, despite her magic-loving father's (Michael Caine) warnings that she cannot live without it. She meets a failing movie star named Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) who wants to find an unknown actress to play a witch — and his wife — in a TV show, a modern adaptation of the classic TV show Bewitched, a ploy whereby the egocentric actor can eclipse his co-star and claim the spotlight entirely. Part of this, Jack is perpetrated by his agent (Jason Schwartzman), who is just as obnoxious as Jack.
When she becomes more popular than he is and unintentionally takes the spotlight away, the pompous, self-centered Jack decides to downplay her role and make the show focus on Darrin (thus garnering the audience's attention). Isabel becomes furious when she finds out. Her harsh words, strangely enough, appeal to Jack who rarely hears honest criticism. He begins to give her a bigger role and the two begin to fall in love and enjoy filming their TV show.
Isabel eventually becomes worried that she has hidden her true identity from Jack, and finally shows him her powers. He becomes fearful of her supernatural nature and they separate. Devastated, Isabel decides to return home, where Jack is told by Uncle Arthur (Steve Carell) she must stay for 100 years once she returns. Jack realizes that he loves Isabel for real after all and tries to find her before she returns home. To his surprise, he finds her at the studio soundstage, which she considers her "home". Jack proposes to her and she accepts. Before she accepts, it is revealed that she did not have to remain at her home for 100 years before she could, once again, return.
Meanwhile the "spirits" of the old Bewitched television show work their own magic on Isabel and Jack by ensuring that the couple ends up in a happy union of witch to mortal like on the original series. The home in which Isabel and Jack finally settle in together is numbered "1164" as a nod to the house from the original TV series (at 1164 Morning Glory Circle); their new neighbors are also a nod to their TV counterparts.
The $85-million budgeted movie was panned by critics, and by many of the original show's fanbase, yet earned a worldwide gross of $131,413,159. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 25% of the critics gave positive reviews, based upon 177 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 Razzie Award for "Worst Screen Couple." It was also nominated for four Razzies including Worst Director, Worst Actor (Will Ferrell), Worst Screenplay and Worst Remake or Sequel. The New York Times called the film "an unmitigated disaster."
The DVD was released on October 25, 2005 by Columbia TriStar. The DVD 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.