Practical Magic | Chicago Reader

Practical Magic

Though its startling shifts in tone sometimes seem unmotivated, this dark yet syrupy 1998 romance has an adolescent charm. Love spells trouble for two sisters from a family of witches raised by their aunts, their parents having succumbed to an ancestor's curse on female descendants and their mates. To avoid the same fate, Sally (Sandra Bullock) vows not to become enamored—though her aunts meddle, with mixed results. Gillian (Nicole Kidman) keeps a bad boy at bay until things turn ugly, and Sally, who's virtually given up witchcraft so she'll be accepted by her stodgy neighbors, reluctantly helps her sister clean up a violent mess with black magic. A police detective (Aidan Quinn) who comes sniffing around only slowly realizes he's investigating the supernatural. Directed by Griffin Dunne; written by Akiva Goldsman, Adam Brooks, and Robin Swicord, based on a novel by Alice Hoffman. With Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, and Goran Visnjic.

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