Will Ferrell's over-the-top comedy gives the movie its moments and Nicole Kidman proves she's just as capable of playing light-hearted fluff as she is at drama, but credit to this movie goes mainly to Nora Ephron. With Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail and now Bewitched, the director and co-writer has further solidified herself as one of the few consistently good writers of romantic comedy films.
I read a negative review of this film by the Washington Post that called the movie outdated saying, "Nicole Kidman plays a role ordinary reserved for Meg Ryan, that Meg Ryan herself even stopped playing long ago." On the contrary, I think Nora Ephron makes such solid movies because she is so acutely attuned to the latest trend. You've Got Mail, a movie about two people falling in love over the internet, came out in 1998, well before widespread e-dating. Similarly, Sleepless in Seattle's star-crossed pair find each other through a call-in radio show. Sound familiar? Dr. Laura or the fictional Frasier Crane, maybe?
Considering that this own film's release date is sandwiched between remakes of the Longest Yard, Batman, the Honeymooners, and the Bad News Bears, the Pink Panther, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the other end, it seems pretty far-fetched to call this picture outdated with all this hysterical nostalgia going on around us.
Ephron's story lines are also well-written and have a screwball comedy sense of fun, this one being no different. In particular, she has a lot of fun playing with her life-imitates-art theme here in her story about a has-been actor trying to reboot his career with a remake of Bewitched casts Nicole Kidman as his costar, who turns out to be an actual witch.
As mentioned previously, Will Ferrell's hilarious ad-libs make their way into the movie and while he's slightly miscast, it isn't too big of an obstacle. Nicole Kidman is excellent as well. Shirley MacLaine makes the most of her small role, especially the scenes she shares with Michael Caine in their romantic subplot