starring Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine
screenplay by Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron and Adam McKay
directed by Nora Ephron
by Walter Chaw Five minutes into Bewitched I was sick to death of its cutesy, smarmy self-satisfaction. This is Nicole Kidman talking something like Marilyn Monroe crossed with a feather duster, doing her best to work her mouth around Delia and Nora Ephron's vapid dialogue while wishing all the while that someone would solve the mystery of how she could be so accomplished at picking independent projects (Birth, Dogville) and so incompetent in picking mainstream ones (The Stepford Wives, Cold Mountain). It's a movie completely dependent on the belief that everyone has seen the Sol Saks sitcom upon which the flick is based (a belief supported at least in part by the warmth with which a multitude of clips from said sitcom were received), meaning it's the picture for which the term "meta" was created. Not the endlessly replicating screenplay, but the fabled film that is about nothing, is based on nothing, and features big stars struggling to overcome the freakish inconsequence of a project that should never have gotten beyond the what-if stage. (Who outside of coma would even consider starring in a film written by the Ephron sisters, directed by Nora, and produced by Penny freaking Marshall?) This is the film that cotton candy would imagine because it cheerfully has no mind to speak of, making Kidman's freaky, alien, doll-like performance (her Isabel eats buckets of Miracle Whip in one of the film's concessions to its powder-puff inconsequence) a minor stroke of genius, if only in hindsight.