The Witches of Eastwick (1987) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
18Jun/100

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

Danny LIKEJack Nicholson is an actor who gets a lot of flak for playing the same character movie in and movie out. And while Nicholson doesn't get enough love for his understated stuff-- God I love About Schmidt-- his own overblown and nasty scene chewing persona can still be entertaining in and of itself. And given the proper movie, where he's larger than life in not just personality but as a force of nature, it can be a hell of good time.

The combined talents of Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon can't even seem to do much against him, and goodness knows they try. As the titular Witches of Eastwick, they find their lives provincial and free from male companionship. While there are a few loathsome candidates, the three women find themselves fantasizing their ideal man and discuss it during a stormy and foreboding night.

Unfortunately, these women hadn't paid heat to the weird coincidences that seemed to occur whenever the three all shared the same thoughts. For you see these women are all actually witches.

In Eastwick.

Shocking, I know. But as they make their wish for the perfect man, they get a little more than they can handle when Nicholson comes to town. He's an eccentric millionaire who knows more about what's going on with the women than they do.

He seduces the women one by one. With Cher, a sculptress, he appeals to her defiant feminist side. With Susan Sarandon, he takes her mousy music teacher and uses her love of the violin to re-tune her into a vamp. And Pfeiffer, after seeing both of her friend's fall for him, can't help but buy into the hype.

This doesn't sit well with the townsfolk in this small Massachusetts town, and one particularly wholesome woman soon finds herself a receptacle for the three woman's spiritual waste. As she's slowly driven into madness (and I do mean slowly, this is really the only part of the movie that seems to drag), the three women cavort through Nicholson's lavish estate and become infamous in town for their escapades.

They also discover they're witches with about as much surprise as you see from a dead man. By this point the three actress's characters arcs seem to stagnate, as they abandon this craft when they see the trouble it's causing, and the rest of the film descends into Nicholson's nasty vengeance on them and then them turning the tables.

The titular witches (cough) never seem to do much after a point. The initial seduction scene between Cher and Nicholson is the highlight of the movie, and Sarandon seems to really enjoy vamping it up during the second half of the film, but it never feels like their characters are dynamic, reacting to the demands of plot rather than relying on character's choices and decisions to see them through.

Nicholson's character fairs a bit better, but his role is so over the top and fun that you'll readily forgive the small lapses of intelligence that his character seems to have. But Nicholson has the best lines in the movie, especially as he twists what the women want into bedroom invitations.

The special effects are still pretty impressive now, and they have an absurdness that is reminiscent of Beetlejuice and some of Tim Burton's other 80's efforts.

All in all, Eastwick is an interesting take on female friendship, and Nicholson ensures that it is a hell of a good time.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

This film is currently available on DVD and Netflix Instant.

Directed by George Miller
Written by Michael Cristofer
Starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon

Posted by Danny

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