Book vs. Movie: Practical Magic

Hello, my darling babes!
It’s August and this month will be another special one! Apart from my regular TMP and T5T posts, I will only be posting book vs. movie reviews.
We kick it off with some thoughts on Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman and the 1998 adaptation. Leave me a comment and tell me what you prefer – book or movie!

The Plot:

The sisters Sally and Gillian couldn’t be more different. However, they have one thing in common: bad lack in terms of love. That’s something they inherited from her ancestors, who were – just like the two women – witches…

Book vs. Movie:

So, I did a review on the book Practical Magic a while ago. If you read that, you’ll know how much I hated the book. The prequel Rules of Magic was adorable and I was excited to pick up Practical Magic. Total fail.

First of all, there was barely any magic in the book. You can’t hand me a novel about witches titled Practical Magic and not do any magic!
Furthermore, the characters were constantly bitching and complaining about everything which got rather tiresome.
What irritated me most, however, is the take Hoffman had on love and sex. The many irritating sex scenes don’t tie in with the overall vibe of the book. Apart from that, we get a stalker who is portrayed to be adorably romantic and a good guy who is exactly that because he only fantasizes about raping somebody but doesn’t go through with it.

You might understand why the book left me rather underwhelmed. So let’s take a look at the adaptation. Maybe we have more luck with that one.

Opinions differ drastically on the film. I took a quick look at Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is 73% whereas the tomatometer is at 21%. When I first saw Practical Magic I was maybe 10 years old and fell in love with it. I’ve always been a sucker for witches, so this was right down my alley. A few years ago, I re-watched the film and wasn’t as enthusiastic about it anymore.
We get heaps of potential with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock in the lead roles. They are both charming and certainly try their best. They are true witches and conduct a great deal of magic, which gets a bit thumbs up from me. Ultimately, the film is a bit cheesy and the story doesn’t always make sense.

However, in comparison, I would definitely go for the movie. There’s an actual story going on which is mostly missing from the novel. The soundtrack is pretty cool and the leading ladies to a good job.

The adaptation may be cheesy at times but I’d rather watch the rather adorable movie than read the book. The film isn’t perfect but I really hated the novel, so it’s an easy choice for me.

Did you prefer the book or the movie? Let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: Practical Magic

  1. I didn’t know it was based on a book. I think the film is totally fun and awesome. Plus, seeing Nicole Kidman be the bad girl and having fun is such a joy to watch. The critics were wrong about this film.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thank you for this info!
      I looked into it and will make sure to check out Magic Lessons. As that book came out only last week, I wasn’t aware it existed.
      It appears to be a prequel to both Rules of Magic and Practical Magic. Magic Lesson is set in the 1600s detailing the origin of the Owens bloodline. Rules of Magic is set in the 1960s and gives us a glimpse into the lives of young Franny and Jet who are the aunts we encounter in Practical Magic. 🙂


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