Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Movie Review: The Witches Of Eastwick (1987)
A metaphor for big trouble in romance land, The Witches Of Eastwick is a devilish romp through the New England countryside. Carrying echoes of the Salem witch trials, the adaptation of John Updike's novel is superficially about the devil seducing three lonely women, but is really about three women and one man getting a seemingly ideal opportunity to live the perfect romance, and learning to regret it.
Van Horne has little trouble seducing the three women by preying on their emotional needs and desires, and soon he is sleeping with all three -- simultaneously. But Daryl is immediately identified as evil by Felicia (Veronica Cartwright), the wife of Eastwick's newspaper owner Clyde (Richard Jenkins). Felicia's ranting turns the town against the amorous quartet, transforming Alex, Jane and Sukie into social outcasts. The ladies have to find a way to reclaim a semblance of a normal life, and preferably make Daryl disappear as effectively as they conjured him up.
Cher, Pfeiffer and Sarandon have to share time opposite Nicholson, and while none of them disappoint, the need to distribute screen minutes damages the opportunity to shine. Sarandon makes the best impression with her transformation from mousy music teacher to a raven-haired, free-spirited seductress. Cher and Pfeiffer are functional without being memorable.
The Witches Of Eastwick loses control towards the end, with a brief but still unnecessary orgy of special effects detracting from the characters and the drama. Just like the subject matter of men, women, and relationships, The Witches Of Eastwick does not have all the right answers, but it nonetheless has fun trying to find them.
All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.