“Practical Magic,” the 1998 cult-classic witchy film based on the Alice Hoffman novel of the same name, is finally getting a sequel.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced on TikTok that “Practical Magic 2″ is officially happening.

Variety has since reported that both Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the stars of the original film, are “in talks” to return in the sequel.


It’s official… Practical Magic 2 is coming!

♬ original sound - Warner Bros. Movies

With prequels and sequels dominating at the box office, it was only a matter of time until “Practical Magic 2″ was announced.

But can “Practical Magic 2″ capture the same magic as the original?

When ‘Practical Magic’ came out, it was slammed by critics

It’s worth noting that when “Practical Magic” was released in 1998, it was panned by critics — it currently has a critic score of 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to a 73% audience score.

  • In 2000, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “A witch comedy so slapdash, plodding, and muddled it seems to have had a hex put on it.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter wrote in the same year, “A disappointing brew of slick commercial moviemaking and old-fashioned romantic fantasy!”

Here’s the thing: none of these critics are wrong. “Practical Magic” is plodding and muddled. So why is it so popular today — so much so that a sequel is in the works?

So why is ‘Practical Magic’ a cult classic?

“Practical Magic” is a movie best appreciated for the vibes, not the plot. Its vibes explain why it’s such a cult classic today.

You watch the movie to lust after the Owens’ witchy, Anthropologie-esque house. You might wish you had a greenhouse in your own home — plus a perfectly overgrown garden and a great view of the ocean in your own backyard, framed by cliffs and jagged rocks.

Whenever Kidman flits onto the screen, you might wonder to yourself, “Is she wearing a wig?” and eventually conclude that it doesn’t matter, because you want her hair regardless.

The outfits worn by both Kidman and Bullock — which are still being replicated today by Gen Z — might have you rushing to your nearest Free People.

In a nutshell, “Practical Magic” is beautiful to watch, with great sets, costumes and hair.

And in addition to its memorable aesthetic, “Practical Magic” drops a few lines that are pretty enough to be printed and framed.

In one scene, while trying to stave off her loneliness, Sally writes to her sister, “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.” Inspiring stuff!

Never mind that, if you think about it, the plot doesn’t quite line up — how did the Owens women manage to break the generational curse, again?

What matters most is that you feel pretty good by the end of the movie, despite having some lingering questions about the technicalities of it all.

You’re willing to let it slide because Sally has found love again, Gillian has rid herself of her toxic boyfriend, the Owens women are finally accepted by the town and everyone has great hair.

What would ‘Practical Magic 2′ even be about?

Perhaps the most important question — what would the second film be about?

It’s worth noting that Hoffman has expanded the “Practical Magic” universe since publishing the first book in 1995. There are four books total in the “Practical Magic” series. They’re listed here in chronological order:

  • “Magic Lessons”: This tells the story of Maria Owens, the first Owens woman accused of witchcraft in Salem in the 1600s and the origin of the dreaded Owens family curse.
  • “The Rules of Magic”: This dives into the backstory of Sally and Gillian’s aunts, Franny and Jet, and their brother, Vincent.
  • “Practical Magic”: The original book that tells the story of Sally and Gillian.
  • “The Book of Magic”: A prequel to “Practical Magic,” “The Book of Magic” focuses a little more on Sally’s now-adult daughters and ends the story of the Owens family.

The “Practical Magic” movie is very different than the book — it might be more accurate to say that the film is inspired by the novel than based on it.

As one reviewer notes, the book takes place in the suburbs, instead of the quant New England town in the film. Additionally, there’s a lot of “hurt and resentment” between Sally and Gillian, making the novel less idealistic and whimsical.

Essentially, while “Practical Magic” is an excellent book, it lacks the characteristics that make the movie so beloved today. So if “Practical Magic 2″ covers the story in “The Book of Magic,” filmmakers will likely have to give it the same treatment as the first film: a whimsical overhaul only loosely based on the source material.

But a quick glance at the plot of “The Book of Magic” (no spoilers here!) will tell you that such an overhaul project would be no small feat — the story features more darkness than the film and deals much more with death. Plus, the ending is very bittersweet.

Could ‘Practical Magic 2′ be good as the first film?

So can “Practical Magic 2″ be just as beloved as the first? I’m not quite sure.

For the sequel to be just as successful, it’d have to focus more on the vibes than the plot. This might sound backwards, but you have to remember that no one watches “Practical Magic” for the story — they’re just trying to figure out how they can replicate the Owens’ amazing kitchen.


Additionally, enough time has passed since the release of “Practical Magic” for it to become a cult classic. Some cult classics are born. Others take time to develop. “Practical Magic” falls in the latter camp.

Nowadays, we love nostalgia. That doesn’t mean we need to revamp beloved classics. It just means that audiences want to watch the originals more.

What this means is that “Practical Magic 2″ will probably struggle to reach the same level of success that it took its predecessor 26 years to achieve.

If Warner Bros. brings on filmmakers that understand the appeal of the first “Practical Magic” film, there’s hope. If not, “Practical Magic 2″ will become just another disappointing and unnecessary sequel.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.