If a broom falls, company is due. When a circle rings the moon, trouble looms, Should you misplace your broom, sorry; a hand vac can't be used in an exorcism rite. Fun and excitement abound in the Owens family of wily witches. One problem, though: the men the Owens women fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman bring a sparkling screen magic to Practical Magic, adapted from Alice Hoffman's bestseller and directed by Griffin Dunne (Addicted to Love). They play Sally and Gillian Owens, sisters hexed by a centuries -old curse...and coping with a witches brew of events involving a possible love match (Aidan Quinn) for one, a zombie (Goran Visnjic) for the other and a need to resume the age-old witchcraft taught by two doting Owens aunts (Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest). Sit for a spell and enjoy.
Actor Griffin Dunne improves a bit on his first film as a director, Addicted to Love
, with this drama-comedy about a family of witches. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock play spell-casting sisters of different temperaments: the former is a high-living, free-spirited sort, while Bullock's character is a homebody who can't get around a family curse that kills the men in their lives. A widowed single mom, Bullock gets into a jam with an abusive Bulgarian (Goran Visnjic) and is helped out by her sibling, but the result brings a good-looking, warm, inquisitive cop (Aidan Quinn) into their lives. The film has a variety of tonal changes--cute, scary, glum--that Dunne can't always effectively juggle. But the female-centric, celebratory nature of the film (the fantasies, the sharing, the witchy bonds) is infectious, and supporting roles by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing as Kidman and Bullock's magical aunts are a lot of fun. --Tom Keogh