Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A little witch in every woman

I have Practical Magic on DVD -- it's been one of my standard comfort movies for years -- but right now it's on ABC Family in my living room because the hubby happened across it as background noise for both of us working.

Different things jump out at me when half-watching something (especially something familiar) than when I'm giving it my full attention. Tonight I happen to particularly notice how much I love Stockard Channing in this movie. I love her in general, and I love pretty much everyone in the movie, but for whatever reason it's Aunt Frances who's getting the love tonight. That no-nonsense attitude, completely at odds with how most people would approach such a fanciful character... love it. The delivery when she asks Sally, "Do you have any friends?" Just kills me.

This is one of two movies where the book disappointed me when I read it later. That doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. (The other, for the record, is Girl With a Pearl Earring, and one of these days I should post about why. The short version is that the movie is much more complex and interesting than Yet Another Romance, and the novel... is not.) I've tried for years to articulate why. The closest I got was that I didn't really like the characters in the novel, so I had trouble rooting for them. But I don't know that the movie characters are really any more likable. Gillian is still needy and self-destructive, Sally is still hiding from everything... I don't know. It just didn't grab me the same way.

Maybe one of these days I'll read it again and see if I can figure out why. :: ponders To Be Read pile :: But probably not any time soon.

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