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Film / Bewitched

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The Film of the Series... sort of.

Directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, this 2005 comedy is about the filming of a remake of the series Bewitched. It stars Will Ferrell as Jack Wyatt, the actor playing Darrin on the show, and Nicole Kidman as Isabel Bigelow, who plays Samantha. The twist: Isabel not only plays a witch in the Show Within a Show, but is secretly a real witch In-Universe.

All sorts of postmodern Hilarity Ensues, as does romance.

Tropes present:

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "I'll Fall in Love" by Seiko Matsuda was the theme song in the Japanese version.
  • Animated Credits Opening: For the Show Within a Show, which tends to obscure Samantha's face and highlights Darrin's, used to portray him as the protagonist of the show.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Isabel has two moments of this: the first is when she overhears Jack and chooses to get mad about it, the second is when she walks in after she's rewound time and delivers her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jack.
    • Iris also seems to show hints of this subtly, it becomes more obvious at the party.
  • Brick Joke: Isabel at the beginning says that she "wants to go to the Coffee Bean and talk about things for which there is no solution." Guess what happens after she breaks up with Jack?
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Nina and Maria believe that Isabel's Aunt Clara (and Isabel herself kinda) to be this. Maria shows shades of this in the film.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Isabel was trying to show Jack she is a real witch, he mistakes everything as stage magic, such as making a mustache appear on his yes man's face, then it vanishing, or a tiny umbrella in his drink.
  • Continuity Reboot: In-universe, the show Bewitched goes through this.
  • Dance of Romance: Kinda. Partway through the "actual date" between Jack and Isabel, they go back to the studio and spend their time dancing around the set. It ends with a kiss.
  • Dub Name Change: Much like it happened with the original series, Darrin was changed to "Jean-Pierre" in the French dub.
  • Expy: Besides the actors and actress, half the characters outside the show are the expy of someone in the series: Isabel=Samantha, Jack=Darrin, Iris=Endora (both on and off the set). Nigel doesn't quite fit the mold of Maurice (at times coming off more like a male Endora), but is an expy of him otherwise.
  • The Film of the Series: A film based on the television series Bewitched.
  • Flying Broom Stick: Isabel rides one.
  • Freak Out: Jack doesn't take very well when Isabel demonstrates that she is a real witch.
  • Genki Girl: Maria. Isabel does display occasional shades of this, such as when she's jumping up and down with Maria.
  • It's All About Me: Jack is egregiously self-centered, to the point that the Bewitched reboot starts out as a shameless vehicle for him (who plays Darrin), while Samantha gets turned into The Voiceless. He gets better, though.
  • Jerkass: Jack starts as a jerkass, but has a Heel–Face Turn about halfway through the film. Ritchie on the other hand is Jerkass from beginning to end.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Shortly after the second date between Jack and Isabel, the two characters try and fail to hide their feelings on the set the next day. EVERYONE else on set notices however Jack and Isabel are oblivious to this (Isabel at least until Nina points it out)
  • Large Ham:
    • All of Jack's characters, and Jack himself. He's played by Will Ferrell, after all.
    • Maria has her moments.
  • Let Him Choose: A dog in one episode of the show, and thanks to Isabel's magic, the dog Takes a Third Option.
  • Love Potion: Combined with Love Makes You Crazy.
  • Magical Gesture: Other actress notices Isabel doing it. She manages to pass it off as her character, but It turns out she's also a witch.
  • Meta Sequel: Instead of a straight sequel telling the further adventures of the characters from the series, it's set in a world where the series was fictional, but things happen that are like the things that would happen in the series.
  • Mister Seahorse: After Jack finally does believe that Isabel is a witch, he briefly worries if he'll become one.
    Jack: Am I gonna get pregnant? Because I cannot get pregnant right now!
  • Mundane Utility: At first, Isabel tries to avoid using magic at all, but later she uses magic to connect her cable and TV set.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: This is shown in a montage from Isabel's point of view. Such mundane things include turning on the sprinklers in her front yard, popping popcorn in a microwave, dimming the lights and opening cans of soft drink.
  • Mythology Gag: There are several references to the original show.
    • In the Bewitched remake within the film, when Aunt Clara's bag drops from the chimney, a whole bunch of doorknobs fall out of it. This is a reference to how the Aunt Clara from the original series collected doorknobs.
    • After Isabel tells Jack that she's a witch, he asks if that means that he's gonna get pregnant. In one episode of the original series, Endora cast a spell to Darrin while Samantha was pregnant, causing Darrin to feel the same pregnancy symptoms that Samantha was feeling.
    • The house exterior on the soundstage where the Bewitched remake is shot is labelled "1164". In the original series, the address for the Stephens was 1164 Morning Glory Circle, Westport, Connecticut.
    • When Jack visualizes Uncle Arthur and Arthur wants to drive Jack somewhere, Jack brings up an episode where Uncle Arthur was a bad driver, to which Uncle Arthur replies that it really wasn't him, and that he's a good driver. This is a reference to how, before he was cast as Uncle Arthur on the original series, Paul Lynde had guest starred on the show as a driving instructor with anxiety problems.
    • Aunt Clara at one point offers Isabel Lorna Doone cookies. This is not so much a reference to the television show but rather the fact that Marion Lorne, the television show's Aunt Clara, did commercials for Lorna Doones.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Jack Wyatt is not very nice, Isabel is fooled at first.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream
  • One Head Taller: Nicole Kidman is 5'11" and Kristin Chenoweth is 4'11". The difference is quite obvious when they're jumping up and down in the kitchen.
  • Our Witches Are Different: The Film of the Series, 'Bewitched'', in that it's about the filming of a remake of the series, with a real magical witch as the witch character.
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: Isabel's father walks out of a series of stone arches to speak with Isabel; a moment later, as the camera pulls back, a pair of stagehands come by and pick up the large canvas flat on which the arches are painted.
  • Precision F-Strike: "What's a dick? ...What does that have to do with how obnoxious he is being?"
  • Real After All: Yes Jack, Isabel is a real witch.
  • Recursive Canon: The film is based around the conceit that witches are real, but that the 1960s TV series was fiction. From then on, it gets zig-zagged: despite the show being stated to be fictional, several of Isabel's in-universe relatives are identical to their TV counterparts, right down to their names. As the film progresses, the line between the 1960's TV show, rebooted TV show and in-universe reality becomes increasingly blurry and eventually disappears. The film even ends with Isabel and Jack moving into a house exactly like the set they film the show on, across the street from a real Gladys and Abner Kravitz.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Isabel, whenever she's "filming" shortly after she cottons on to the fact that she's The Voiceless, and briefly when she's meeting Jack's ex-wife. Iris calls her out on it briefly, but otherwise the little pranks and whatnot are passed off as random occurrences or SFX failure, mainly used to help keep up the masquerade.
  • Reset Button: Pulled partway through the film when Isabel realises that her love spell is getting out of control and rewinds it back to when Jack is on "Inside The Actors Studio." She does it again later when she drops a lighting fixture on Jack's ex-wife and realises that she may have taken it a bit too far.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Not so much the "small name" part, but Jack's ego is huge (evidenced in-universe by his own giant cappuccino machine to himself and 2 giant trailers, plus his diva attitude at the beginning of the film). It's not helped by Ritchie one bit however and it's implied that Ritchie himself encourages this.
  • Show Within a Show
  • Sitcom
  • The Other Darrin: Referenced in universe. Jack has a diva freak out that in the original show that Darrin was recasted and nobody cared, raving that he doesn't want that to happen to him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Isabel delivers an absolutely EPIC one to Jack and the production team after she rewinds time.
    Isabel: You're a jerk.
    Jack: What did you just say?
    Isabel: I said, you're a jerk! Everything is about you: you are selfish, and you are self-centered, and you lied to me. You said you needed me. You don't need anyone!
    Richie: Listen, sweetie, why don't you go to your trailer and take a Midol?
    Isabel: You be quiet, or I'll give you a tail!
    Jack: (calmly) Just calm down.
    Isabel: You sit down! Sit down! (Jack immediately does so) This show is supposed to be about a marriage: a real marriage, with real problems; like what color to paint the kitchen... or... I don't know, other problems, I can't even think of them now, but the only problems you care about are your own! No wonder the audience doesn't like this show! A witch marries a mortal. Who in their right mind would want to marry you?
    Jack: Hey!
  • The Voiceless: Samantha is this in the show, after Isabel discovers this, she gets very upset.
  • Visual Pun: Combined with Shout-Out. When "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" is played at a party, the camera pans to a table with roses on it. The roses on the table are a type of rose known as "Judy Garland roses."