I loved Practical Magic as a kid and it was routinely watched in our household.
Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman!
Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing!
Dancing to “you put the lime in the coconut!”
What is there not to like?!
The novel the movie is based on, also called Practical Magic, is completely different than the movie. I think if I had read the novel first I would have been really upset about the movie adaptation but reading it after seeing the movie so many times I come to find myself liking the film and the book as two separate entities.
“Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.”
The basic characters are the same; Gillian and Sally Owen were taken in by their Aunts Frances and Jet when the girls were orphaned at a young age. The Owens women are witches, while they are ostrachized by the townspeople they are often visited by lovelorn women hoping for some magic. Gillian has bounced around from man to man while Sally married the love of her life and had two young girls herself. In the present day Sally’s husband is dead and she throws herself into her new town and being Super Mom. Gillian, on the other hand, has three ex husbands and shows up on Sally’s doorstep with a dead (abusive) ex boyfriend. The soul of Gillian’s ex-boyfriend begins to haunt the Owens women and they must rid themselves of the vengeful spirit.
Sally’s daughters get meatier story lines in the novel but the Aunts’ story is truncated so there is a trade off. The one thing I really preferred in the movie was that Sally was equally at fault for the death of Jimmy. While I understand the Owens girls had a bond like no other it seemed a bit far fetched that a single mother would risk going to prison for aiding and abetting a homicide with few questions.