Burn It at the Stake! 

Bewitched: An Affront to All That is Holy

Bewitched
dir. Ephron
Opens Fri June 24
Various Theaters

To say that director/writer Nora Ephron's new incarnation of the TV show Bewitched is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen is an insult to the other movies I've accused of being big pieces of shit. But screw those other films--because Bewitched is so mind-blowingly bad, I'm considering hiring a monkey lobotomist to wipe away the memories of what I've seen.

Poor Nicole Kidman stars as Isabel Bigelow, a real-life witch who wants a shot at living life the way mortals do. Poor Will Ferrell stars as Jack Wyatt, a has-been actor who's starring as "Darren" in a TV remake of Bewitched, and needs a nobody to play the role of Samantha, so he won't be upstaged. After discovering the untrained Isabel, Jack shoves her into the Samantha role, and promptly falls in love with her. Romantic complications ensue when Isabel's popularity soars, and Jack finds out his competitor/girlfriend is a witch. Further complications ensue after discovering you're sitting through the worst movie ever made, and you forgot to bring along a knife with which to slit your wrists.

To say there's one problem with this film is to severely underestimate the situation--but let's start with Nora Ephron. Her screenplay (co-written with sister Delia Ephron) is needlessly complicated for a lighthearted rom-com, aimlessly spinning for the entirety of its two-hour running time. The original Bewitched is often interpreted as a sly feminist treatise (a wife pretending to surrender her powers upon getting married, while secretly using them to emasculate her husband). But the Ephron sisters are incapable of supplying even a basic level of satirical depth, instead portraying Isabel as a dumb blonde teetering on the edge of mental retardation.

And OH! The tremendous amount of talent that goes utterly wasted! This should be a field day for Will Ferrell's improvisational skills, but he's barely given one scene in which to roam freely. Not so lucky are his shackled comedic co-stars--including Stephen Colbert, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Carrell, Amy Sedaris, and more--who give the most embarrassingly flat performances of their lives.

After sitting through this excruciating pile of cinematic dysentery, merely recommending that you stay away from Bewitched is simply not enough. I want to call a special session of the United Nations to prosecute Nora Ephron for crimes against humanity. She's worse than a witch; she's a goddamn monster.

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