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Critical - Practical Magic
by Mark Eggleton

I'm not sexy. I am not a sexual animal whatsoever, although it's not as though I haven't tried to be so. Socks down the pants, a year in a tanning salon, reading the Kama Sutra, pectoral implants, even a cultivated air of insouciance have not helped.
I'm just not sexy. In fact, I tend to present as a lazy, badly sunburnt sleazeball.

Why do I tell you this? I'm only letting you know about my background before I welcome Mrs. Tom Cruise into the fold of asexual creatures. Actually, even Tom himself - as all-American that he is - lacks something in the sensuality stakes. He's kind of attractive in that perfect shop dummy sense - maybe he could star in another Mannequin sequel.

My problems with Nicole started after Dead Calm. Specifically, with Days of Thunder when she played her first role as a doctor. Since then she has played a range of doctors culminating with her nuclear physicist role in the execrable Dreamworks film, The Peacemaker.

In her latest, Practical Magic, she's a witch. An overacting witch who's as sexy as a bricklayer's smile. She not only makes Sandra Bullock look like the world's finest dramatic talent, but her gross lack of sensuality elevates Sandra's usual cute schtick into something altogether exotic and alluring.

Practical Magic is a bad film from the poster outside the cinema right through to the end credits. For me, it was bad from the moment I saw the film on my bus shelter, which was two days before I saw the film. This translates as over 48 hours of a bad cinema experience that is wholly unhealthy and has presented me with a strange dilemma.

I am now walking out of films without actually going into them. I am leaving my bus shelter in disgust because of a poster. I'm having negative film experiences in the street.
Due to this new affliction, I haven't seen Shakespeare in Love. While sitting quietly listening to birdsong and inhaling carbon monoxide at my local public transport terminus, I saw the poster. I stood up and remarked to my fellow commuters that I was not going to sit through this shit and left.
I walked to my destination, passing many bus shelter posters on the way, and finally sat next to a poster for The Thin Red Line. I enjoyed it. It was a good poster, and I feel by the time I see the film (in a few weeks) it will be a lengthy and exciting cinematic experience.

Which is more than I can say for Hurly Burly. It was just a lengthy experience and I didn't see any posters leading up to it. Hurly Burly is an adaptation of David Hare's play of the same name and sadly no one pointed out to the director, Anthony Drazan, that it was now a film.

I rang Ant (as I call him) and said it was a fine night in the theatre but next time someone hands him a camera, don't think of it as a video up the back of a dress rehearsal, use it. If not, give it to Nicole Kidman, because I want to see her succeed, and maybe something behind the camera would best suit her talents.
Hurly Burly is a scathing look at Hollywood and how it subjugates your soul. My soul was subjugated when I bought my first happy meal at McDonalds, went home and watched A Current Affair - and have since done variations of that every weeknight for well on five years.

Anyway, starring Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Garry Shandling and numerous others including an interesting Meg Ryan, Hurly Burly in no way connected with me on any level. I tried to make it connect by hanging out with a bunch of completely self-centred people for a week and taking lots of drugs. It didn't work. My workplace is no place for social experiments, and cold and flu medication can only do so much.

This film left me with one burning question. Why does Meg Ryan do these harder roles without Tom Hanks? Instead of them teaming up in a lame Sleepless in Seattle copy like You've Got Mail, she should have used When A Man Loves A Woman as the sequel. Yes. Tom and her would have married and then she turned to the bottle. Much more believable than Andy Garcia actually caring, and Tom would now have three Academy Awards. ---Mark Eggleton

link directly to this feature at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=13
originally posted: 05/07/99 09:36:58
last updated: 05/19/99 02:04:43
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