Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Practical Magic

Practical Magic is a 1998 American romcom fantasy film, based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman. The film was directed by Griffin Dunne and stars Sandra Bullock, and Nicole Kidman as Sally and Gillian Owens, respectively. The movie starts with Sally and Gillan’s Aunts Francis (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest), telling their young nieces about the first witch in their family, Maria, and how she cast a curse that caused any man who loves an Owens woman to die. This is what happened to the girl’s father, because of this their mother died of heart break, leaving Sally and Gillian to the care of their aunts. In their aunts’ home they learn the craft, but also have to deal with their peers making fun of them for their strange family legacy. As Sally and Gillian grow up their paths diverge from each other. Sally ends up falling in love, getting married, and having two daughters (Evan Rachel Wood & Alexandra Artrip), but Sally’s husband ends up dying because of the curse. Gillian on the other hand runs away, and has a series of bad relationships. Eventually the sisters come together again when Gillian’s boyfriend Jimmy (Goran Višnjić) becomes abusive, setting off a chain of events that lead to many changes in their lives. In this blog post, I will be looking at changes made to the characters and plot when Practical Magic was adapted to film. 

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