One of my favorite movies is Practical Magic. It's
a romantic comedy that I never tire of watching.
I usually watch
it on a Saturday when my husband is busy outside (because it's DEFINITELY
a chick-flick!). And it's even better if it's a dark and dreary day,
like a rainy afternoon. That's when I curl up on the sofa, put the movie on
and allow myself to be transported to the Owens home once more. Okay, it's
a movie about witchcraft, but not in an evil sense ... and after all, it IS just a movie!
The story is about the Owens sisters, Sally and Gillian, who lived
with their two aunts after the deaths of their parents. Based on
Alice Hoffman's best-selling novel, the film follows the Owens sisters as they
struggle to use their hereditary gift of practical magic to overcome
the obstacles in discovering true love.
The women of the Owens family have lived in the same small New England
town for more than 200 years. For all that time, everything that has
gone wrong in the town has been blamed on them, because the Owens
women are witches.
After the deaths of Sally and Gillian's parents, they are taken in by
their aunts Frances and Jet (delightfully played by Stockard Channing
and Dianne Wiest), the current Owens Witches. The aunts are the kind
we all should have had as children. Aunt Fran and Aunt Jet not only
teach the children the history of their family, but also how to use
their magical powers.
Because their mother died of a broken heart after her husband's
death -- attributed to a family curse -- Sally vows never to fall in
love. So, to keep herself safe, she casts a spell to summon her true
love, but the qualities she specifies cannot exist. Gillian, on the
other hand, cannot wait to fall in love and sets out to sow her wild
Both girls are now grown, but while Sally (Sandra Bullock) yearns
only for a normal life, Gillian (Nicole Kidman) leaves town and goes
through a succession of boyfriends until she finds too-good-to-be-true
Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic). Sally at last marries, has two
daughters and finds the normal life for which she searched -- until
the family curse kicks in. Living once more with the aunts in their
big old house in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, she vows to
have nothing more to do with magic, and forbids her aunts to teach her
daughters. Aunt Fran and Aunt Jet, of course, ignore Sally's order.
Meanwhile, Gillian is having trouble with Jimmy. When Sally comes to
rescue her, they both end up captives, driving cross-country in
Jimmy's car. To save them both, Sally doses Jimmy's tequila with
belladonna -- but she misjudges the amount and he dies of an overdose.
Rather than going to the police and claiming self-defense, the
sisters decide to try and bring him back from the grave. And that's
when the real trouble starts.
When police detective Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) comes snooping around after the
boyfriend, Sally finds love for a second time. But obviously, she
can't allow her feelings to go too far because she doesn't want to
lose him to the old curse.
In the end, the towns-women throw off their old prejudices and join
together to help the sisters.
The Owens house is one of the main characters in the film. A ramblilng
old Victorian home, you can imagine this family living here from the
1600's to the present day. Full of eccentric charm.
The kitchen is the heart of the house. The dark floors and trussed
high ceiling that takes you back to a seventeenth-century English
cottage. The roomy kitchen centers around a British aga-gas stove.
At the other end of the kitchen is an eat-in, breakfast nook area.
the predominant color is cream. Ivory walls and woodwork, cream paint
on the table and chairs, and a slightly deeper shade on the trim
surrounding the window. The darker stain of wood floors creates a
nice contrast to the lightness of the rest of the room.
The aunts would need a laboratory ... the conservatory would be where
they'd mix and measure with handblown bottles and funnels. The
greenhouse include a lot of glass - from bell jars to beakers, with
roots and bulbs and tender herbs best grown indoors. There is also a
wonderful potting bench and shelf. Shelves/cabinets are lined along
the walls to store miscellaneous supplies, as well as to work upon.
The landscaping of the garden was also very, very important. The
aunts are dabbling herbalists, and the very nature of their heritage
is to live off the earth. The way they cook, the way they medicate
themselves, the way they take care of their family -- it's all
through the garden.
Do you dream of finding the perfect place to get those beauty products
you've always wanted? Or of being like Sally and learning to make
products just like her?
Verbena Botanicals is Sally Owens' lovely botanical beauty store. The
store is extraordinarily beautiful, clean and white in design. The
simplicity of the surroundings serves to display the products that
Sally sells, which are in themselves simple, natural, and botanical
The main town on Maria's Island (home to the Owens women) was
portrayed by Coupeville, a small sea-front community on Whidbey
Island in Puget Sound.
Sandra Bullock .... Sally Owens
Nicole Kidman .... Gillian Owens
Stockard Channing .... Frances Owens
Dianne Wiest .... Aunt Bridget 'Jet' Owens
Goran Visnjic .... Jimmy Angelov
Aidan Quinn .... Officer Gary Hallet
Evan Rachel Wood .... Kylie Owens
Alexandra Artrip .... Antonia Owens
Mark Feuerstein .... Michael
Caprice Benedetti .... Maria Owens
Annabella Price .... Lovelorn lady
Camilla Belle .... Young Sally Owens
Lora Anne Criswell .... Young Gillian Owens
Sandra Bullock ... as Sally
Nicole Kidman ... as Gillian
Stockard Channing ... as Frances
Dianne Wiest ... as Jet
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All graphics on this page were created by my friend, Lana.
Midi = This Kiss (Thanks, Eric!)