Why do I love "Practical Magic"?
I love the book because Alice Hoffman is a magical writer who transcends the ordinary and weaves fantasy into everyday lives.
I love the movie because it's a wonderful portrayal of sisterhood, love and magic. I have two sisters of my own so I enjoy the complexities of sister relationships whether in movies, tv shows or books.
Magic, love and sisterhood are the underlying themes not only in the movie, but in the book as well. So for my Practical Magic party post, I have decided to combine both the movie and the book.
"For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well: As children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats.
But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared, even into adulthood, brought them back--almost as if by magic..."
I love old houses. I feel drawn to them. Most of this is because of my mom, who also loves old houses. As a child, she'd drive my sisters and I around neighborhoods full of old houses. We'd be so excited, pointing to this one or that one, deciding which one we'd live in once we were older.
Probably like everyone else, who's ever seen the movie, I am in love with the house. It's my goal one day to build my own Victorian, so I hoard pictures of Victorian homes whenever I run across them. This house is amazing with it's two staircases, attic room, attached conservatory and kitchen.
"Anyone who dared to stand on the porch, where the ivy grew wild, could try for hours to look through the windows and never see a thing. It was the same looking out; the green-tinted window glass was so old and so thick that everything on the other side seemed like a dream, including the sky and the trees."
"Sally, three hundred ninety-seven days older than her sister, was as conscientitious as Gillian was idle. She never believed in anything that could not be proven with facts and figures. When Gillian pointed to a shooting star, it was Sally who reminded her that what was falling to earth was only an old rock, heated by its descent through the atmosphere. Sally was a take-charge sort of person from the start; she didn't like confusion and mess, both of which filled the aunts' old house on Magnolia Street from attic to cellar."
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is Sally's Amas Veritas spell. The best part of Sally's "love spell" was that she didn't ask for a certain man to love her, but she asked for a man with certain qualities.
Sally: He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favorite song. He can ride a pony backwards.
Gillian: What are you doing?
Sally: Summoning up a true love spell called Amas Veritas. He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue.
Gillian: Thought you never wanted to fall in love.
Sally: That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. And if he doesn't exist, I'll never die of a broken heart.
Sally's letter to Gillian: Sometimes I feel like there's a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean.
The moon tonight, there's a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind.
I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing... I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don't know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don't want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.
Raising the dead. Of course, you're going to get something more along the lines of a zombie rather than the person you loved.
"You put the lime in the coconut." Another of my favorite scenes from the movie.
When Gillian finds Ben (Ben is a character in the book who didn't make it into the movie): A circle of pale yellow light seemed to hover around Ben and Gillian; the light rose higher, then fanned out, across the street and above the rooftops ...
On the afternoon when Kylie stood in front of Mrs. Jerouche's house, she wasn't the only one to sense something unusual in the air. A group of boys playing kickball all stopped, stunned by the sweet scent wafting down from the rooftops, and they rubbed at their noses. The youngest turned and ran home and begged his mother for lemon pound cake, heated, and spread with honey. Women came to their windows, leaned their elbows on the sills, and breathed more deeply than they had in years. They didn't even believe in hope anymore, but here it was, in the treetops and the chimneys.
Magic is all around us. It lives in all of us. Anyone can tap into it. It's in the flowers that grow wild by the side of the road, the trees that shoot from the ground to the sky,
the bushes that bloom their brightest in summer and in the stream that gurgles hello to you.
There's a little witch in all of us.
Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you to Frosted Petunias for hostessing this wonderful blog party. Please visit the other participants here at the Practical Magic party page.
All italized script is from the book.