We all have classics that we just love, films that we’ll always adore and will watch if they happen to be on TV. We also all have favorite actors and actresses, and we typically will enjoy a film even more if someone we really love is in it. The Witches of Eastwick is a film that fits in both categories for me, I’ve loved it ever since the first time I saw it. If by some misfortune you haven’t seen this 80’s classic, allow me to explain to you why you must experience it.
The story is a very entertaining one, it focuses on three women who are all incredibly lonely. One of them has been deserted by her husband, one has just gotten a divorce, and one is a widow. They always get together on Thursday nights and hang out, knock back a few martinis and talk. Well on this particular Thursday night, they all get to talking about what they’d want in a man in very specific details. As they are all talking about this, a mysterious man comes driving into town and buys the Lennox mansion. They are all immediately struck by something when they meet this man and have no idea what is in store for them.
There are so many things this film gets right. The number one advantage here is the cast, everyone is really doing their absolute best. Jack Nicholson is just fabulous as Daryl Van Horne, really playing up the over the top insanity that he’s so famous for. But what’s also so great about his performance is that not only does he nail the ridiculous over the top parts, but he also handles the softer, more seductive moments really well. His character demands both aspects are knocked out of the park. We have Cher as Alex, who is a near perfect casting choice. I’m a big Cher fan and think she’s not only a great singer, but also a really talented actress. She plays Alex with a frankness that’s just so real and fitting. Then we have Susan Sarandon as Jane. Sarandon plays the mousy, much more low key character very well, and serves as an opposite from the very direct Alex. Lastly there’s Michelle Pfeiffer as Sukie, and she does well too, to be honest the other two women are more memorable but that’s not to say Pfeiffer does a poor job.
The chemistry that exists between all of these actors is so electric, and seems very natural. This chemistry is thanks largely to the talent of the leads, but is also thanks to the script. The script is filled with engaging dialogue and really witty humor. The parts of dialogue I found the most interesting has to be the scenes where Daryl is talking one on one with the ladies, when he first meets them. His monologues are filled with really elaborate commentary that is designed to pull the women in, and it works very well. While the ladies are hanging onto his every word, so is the viewer because the way it’s written and the way it’s performed is all so spot on. The pacing is also really good, it doesn’t feel rushed or slow, nothing feels off or disjointed.
The aesthetics are all spot on, from the look of the Lennox mansion where Daryl lives to the costume and hair. I love the way each of the women transform, when Daryl taps into what seduces them and they go for it, the new makeovers they all undergo is so fittingly over the top. From the 80s hair to the shiny dresses to the slinky nightgowns, whoever was in charge of the hair and makeup did a great job. The witchcraft is done in a cool way as well. They find inventive ways to put that to use, with the voodoo dolls and the cherries (you’ll understand once you see it). And I cannot possibly end this review without giving a shoutout to Veronica Cartwright as Felicia Alden. Felicia is such a fabulous character, serving as a great source of comedy in the film. She is given some perfectly written comedic lines that are delivered very well by Cartwright.
Overall, this is a film that I struggle very hard to think of possible negatives. It’s entertaining throughout and does nearly everything right. To be honest, the only thing I didn’t really like was something towards the end. There’s some effects at the end that just don’t come off looking well done, the effects are really good overall, it’s just that final climactic scene. Other than that, it’s smooth sailing. So if you haven’t seen this 80’s gem, what are you waiting for??
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