Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Witches Of Eastwick

Well we've explored the darker side of witchcraft in my previous blog so let's take a slightly more light-hearted look at the dark arts if you will. Comedy and horror combination movies are usually very silly in some ways but the right mixture of these two genres can actually make good movies and if you add a little drama, you might end up with a film that is riveting to watch. Also, I've noticed that movies that have a lot of leading movie stars in their films either bomb or turn out surprisingly good. So what happens when you add four A-list stars, a movie about witches and add some "dramedy"? The answer: You get The Witches of Eastwick.

Film Plot: In the idyllic New England town of Eastwick (either set in Massachusetts where it was filmed or Rhode Island where the book was set) three women are not as satisfied with their lives as the other townsfolk. Alexandra Medford is a sculptress with a daughter, Sukie Ridgemont is a journalist with six daughters and Jane Spofford is a music teacher who is newly divorced from her husband because she can not have children. Despite the bad, the three women are the best of friends and spend most of their nights together, downing martinis and talking about their ideal men. Little do they know, their musings about the perfect man have more of a chance at coming true then those of other women.

                                         Three Beautiful Women. One Lucky Devil.

Soon after, a mysterious stranger arrives and purchases the mansion in town that was once a place of scandal and becomes the talk of the town to the dismay of devout Christian Felicia Alden, who is married to Sukie's boss at the local paper, Clyde. The man named Daryl Van Horne is not a handsome man but his charm soon wins over all three women and when their jealousy causes rivalry among them, Alex, Jane and Sukie learn that they are witches as being around Daryl awakens their powers due to these powerful emotions. With his presence, Daryl shakes up the three friends' lives as Felicia spreads rumors about the indecency of their relationship with this man who she fears may be the devil himself. When Daryl tricks the women into performing a spell that leads to Felicia's death, Alex, Jane and Sukie realize that they must get rid of Daryl but will it be as easy as they think it is when Daryl shows his true colors and its their powers against his?

I absolutely adore this movie and the chemistry between Cher as Alex, Susan Sarandon as Jane and Michelle Pfeiffer as Sukie is what really bonds the movie together but Veronica Cartwright as Felicia can steal the show from the three leading actresses just as easily once her character goes around the bend in remarkable fashion. When I say that, I can tell you that I'll never look at a cherry the same way again. The one thing that leaves me a little on the fence at times is Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne but it has nothing to do with his acting as Jack is always Jack no matter what he does.

Alex: Who are you? 
Daryl: Just your average, horny little devil.

I get the feeling that Daryl is not supposed to be attractive physically but charming enough to seduce a woman but when I look at Jack Nicholson I just don't see even that charm. I know they say looks aren't everything and personality is what matters and I may be judgemental but it is just an opinion. Although, I did learn that Bill Murray was originally cast in the role of Daryl Van Horne so I can't really say he has less or more charm than Jack or is more attractive or less attractive than Jack for that matter so I rest my case.

Last words: As I mentioned earlier, the movie is based off a book written by John Updike about three years before this film of it was released. I haven't read it but the synopsis of it is pretty much the same except the ending is different and some characters are omitted or based off other characters entirely so I can't vouch if the novel is better. One thing I can say is that The Witches of Eastwick is a popular film because it has been turned into a musical and there have been three series based off the film: two pilots that never got on the air and the short-lived 2009 series. Truly there is something magical about the film that keeps drawing people into adapting it and watching and I can say I am one of them and might be too.

Next blog: Carrie  

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