American Horror Story: Phone Tree Coven
Practical Magic blew into theaters on Oct. 16, 1998, adapted from Alice Hoffman’s 1995 novel of the same name. At the time Roger Ebert called it “too scary for children and too childish for adults,” accusing the film of “veering uncertainly from horror to laughs to romance.” Angie Errigo wrote for Empire that “Practical Magic is a chick movie with multiple personality disorder.” The good news: criticisms are subjective—and 20 years later, the film has cemented itself as a cult classic for a generation that understands that white men are usually the worst.
After Sally accidentally kills Gillian’s abusive boyfriend, the Owens sisters set about resurrecting him, killing him again, and finally burying him in the backyard. This action has several consequences, including the psycho-bae’s return as a vengeful ghost, and the arrival of a dreamy lawman. While it’s usually best to suspend disbelief and not dwell on the details of films that ABCfamily—sorry, I mean Freeform—plays on repeat for an entire season, several instances of Practical Magic demand comment.
“Hopefully one day she’ll find a guy that goes through her.” Wtf???
Stockard Channing has no chill, but also, foreshadowing much? P.S., in this scene there is a couple riding around in a horse-drawn carriage. Are horse-drawn carriages in high demand in a seaside town of 100 people?
Gillian is literally at the saddest party.
Get a fucking grip, Gill! You don’t have “a million friends,” there are like seven people there, and they all look cracked out. My advice to everyone: Stop hanging out with garbage people.
What’s with the impromptu triathlon that no one in the town knew about?
And why are the triathletes so nonchalant about almost killing everyone???
The husband was murdered.
Guys, the driver drove straight into him. No swerving, no speeding. He just murdered him (and his produce).
Everything about Sally and Gillian hanging out by the fireplace.
So like, are the sisters even together? Is it a telepathy thing? If so, why do they write letters and call each other on the phone all the time if they could just magic convo all the time? I mean, you’d save so much on postage alone.
That being said…
Where is Gillian anyway?
Okay, so after maybe kind of hanging out by the fireplace, Sally wakes up alone. Sometime later, Gillian calls Sally to come get her. Sally jumps on a plane to go rescue her in the middle of the night, but then they decide to drive back from wherever they are. They then murder the Bulgarian while en route, bring him back to life, murder him again, and bury the body, all before morning. Like, huh?
Meanwhile, the entire spell to bring this guy back hinders on Nicole Kidman’s ability to roll her Rs.
I took spanish for four years and I still can’t do this.
“Did I do something wrong?”
Yes, you made her kill your abusive boyfriend. Twice.
Abigail Little looks like a shut-in.
Who the fuck wants to be at the top of a phone tree??? Also, they worked their way up from the bottom, so when they magically made Sally first, it means she wasn’t even on the tree (nor were the other 20 women in the room, on a tree that had 8 spots). So, if you don’t make it on the phone tree your kids just have to show up like an idiot on a snow day or something???
“Since when is being a slut a crime in this family.”
I hope Sally’s girls were on Bella Donna that night, because midnight-margaritas was loud as fuck.
Sally created a product for guys with the express purpose of giving men hairy dicks.
Think about that for a minute—a long minute.
“He’ll have one green eye and one blue…”
When Sally is describing her ideal breeding mate as a child, she mentions that he will have one blue-eye and one green-eye. When Quinn makes his flirtatious arrival, anyone who’s ever seen a movie will, of course, check out his eyes—eyes that are clearly both blue until it’s convenient for them not to be later in the movie.
All that being said, Practical Magic is still one of my favorite movies, mostly because it’s a horror movie about an arrogant, straight, white man getting exactly what he deserves.