Bewitched is Nora Ephron’s hidden gem that deserves more recognition

We’re six weeks into fall, and all of social media is exploding with “Nora Ephron Videos and photos on the theme of autumn. Whether it’s outfits inspired by Nora Ephron’s characters played by Meg Ryanor scenes from his films that take place against the backdrop of an autumn day in New York, Gen Z is obsessed with Ephron. And why shouldn’t they be? Ephron has written and directed films with characters everyone can relate to. She gave audiences characters that make them laugh, cry, and reevaluate the relationships they currently have. The charm, sincerity and ambitious nature of the on-screen relationships Ephron has created make his films not only great the first time they are viewed, but with each new viewing.


“The Fall of Nora Ephron”

When people talk about “Nora Ephron Fall” or Nora Ephron’s aesthetic movies, they’re usually talking about her movies that are cozy and have a similar romantic, city vibe. You’ve got mail, When Harry Met Sally, and Insomnia in Seattle, to name a few. They fit into a very specific formula that Ephron uses. The formula is: girl meets boy, girl hates boy, boy charms girl, girl forgives boy for all his faults, boy and girl fall in love. This has been Ephron’s winning formula over his 26 years in filmmaking. However, on the list of Ephron movies that audiences love, another should be included. It follows the same formula with the same aesthetic, just with a twist.

What is “Bewitched”?

Delighted is a film based on a 1960s sitcom of the same name – but again, with a twist. The sitcom is about a witch and a man who fall in love, get married, and navigate all the shenanigans that come with being an interspecies couple. It’s a simple yet fun premise that has made for a very successful show that has stood the test of time. In 2005, Nora Ephron turned the series into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, but the premise of the film differs slightly from that of the series. In the film, Jack (Ferrell) is an actor looking for a break and reboots the original Delighted To display. Searching for an actress who can wiggle her signature Samantha Stephens nose, Ferrell stumbles upon Isabel (Kidman), a real-life witch trying to escape her upbringing and become human. The two grow their show, fall in love, and learn lessons along the way. Everything a good romantic comedy should have. So why isn’t it Delighted part of Norah Ephron’s list of movies that get all the love?

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“Bewitched” was panned by critics upon release

At the time, the critics slammed Delighted because they liked the source material too much. An opinion said: “Nicole Kidman is miscast as the curious, romantic Isabel. She doesn’t play the character convincingly and never channels Elizabeth Montgomery. She has a straight nose – probably because the script smells so bad it It’s a natural reaction.” The New York Times the review read, “The film’s writers conjured up a very clever gimmick when they decided to revamp a favorite ’60s TV show. Too bad they forgot that a gimmick doesn’t replace a script, let alone a a real movie.” Reading all the reviews, it seems like, for those reviewers, nothing can do justice to the old TV show.

Buried in a weak box office performance and poor reviews, Delighted has not become an Ephron classic considered a must-have watch like When Harry Met Sally is. Maybe that’s because the target audience for the movie was millennials and Gen Xers. But Gen Z is the perfect audience for this movie. Far enough from the source material, Delighted offers an interesting approach to adaptation that does not require the audience to know and like the work that is being adapted. Which makes Delighted an interesting adaptation is that it’s not for people who like the show, it’s for people who don’t know about it.

Introducing “Bewitched” to a younger audience

Sure, there are homages and references that only a true fan would get, but the movie is basically about people loving the show. Delighted are doing their best to reintroduce it to a younger generation. So even if a young person knows nothing about Delighted, they would not be lost at all. It’s refreshing to watch an adaptation that doesn’t treat people who know and love urtext as the ingroup and new people as the outgroup. For Delighted (2005) viewers, new and old fans can find something for themselves in this movie. Delighted (2005) is as much about teaching young people about an old TV show as it is about honoring the show.

There’s also a fantastic meta-cinematic quality to the story of Delighted (2005). While the film shows the steps taken by the characters to create this revival, viewers can’t help but be aware that the film is itself an adaptation and that the plot of the film is a reflection of the process that Ephron and others followed to create the film. The film is such a creative and fresh way to tell an old story, it deserves a watch just to see how Nora Ephron challenges the adaptation formula and gives audiences something new: not just a retelling of a well- beloved, but a building on an old story. A film that uses old elements, but still offers something unique.

Will Ferrell is an unlikely but perfect romantic role

Ephron also shows Gen-Z audiences a different performance from an iconic comedian – Will Ferrell. Famous for his roles in SNLher classic Christmas character in Elfand his work with Adam McKay (Half-brothers, presenter, etc.), Will Ferrell doesn’t often play a romantic lead role. Of course, in Elf (among other movies) he finally got the girl, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a romantic lead in the classic rom-com sense. In a romantic comedy, the male lead must follow a specific arc. It’s usually about learning something about love or learning something about his romantic interest that he didn’t initially notice.

In Delighted (2005), Jack does both. He learns that the woman he loves is a witch, casting a number of spells on her, and he also learns that in love it doesn’t matter if the person you fall for is different from the person you thought you were falling for. . In this role, Ferrell gives his character such an authentic sweetness that you forget he’s a comedian first and a romantic lead second. Ferrell has some funny scenes, but there’s nothing funny about the way his character loves Isabel. He looks at her with such adoration, audiences can’t help but fall in love with Ferrell for watching the movie a bit.

Bewitched (2005) is a hidden gem that deserves the attention it should have had when it hit theaters. Better suited to a younger generation, those who like everything Nora Ephron will love this film. There’s romance, comedy, witches, black cats, and tons of cameos. And who knows? If you love the movie, there might be a new show just waiting for you to binge.