19 January 2008
The Good Witch starring Catherine Bell from JAG as the title character turned out to be, like so many things regarding witchcraft, an over-hyped bit of fluff. Yes, the title character was something of an herbalist and proponent of aromatherapy. And she liked masks, crystals, Celtic jewelry and always had a broom handy and candles burning. Aside from that, the only thing she had in common with real-life witches was that her witchy store was vandalized and many of her neighbors sought to run her out of town. I was, to say the least, disappointed in the original film from Hallmark. It was geared toward a family friendly crowd and I can understand that. But I found much of it trite and downright silly in its oversimplification. The antagonist, wife to the mayor and head of a local citizens group, was a very transparent and unoriginal villain with textbook tunnel vision. The only truly interesting thing about the entire film was that said villain was played by Catherine Disher of Forever Knight fame. It was good to see her on the screen again, even though her role was lousy. But she made the best of it, as did all the actors. Bell's character never came right out and said she was a witch but the word was thrown at her enough in the form of an insult to make me wonder if Hallmark would take a stand. Instead, they wimped out and left things in an ambiguous state, which is understandable I guess, if frustrating. It is Hallmark, after all, not exactly an alternative network. And even though I wish the film had gone further I do grudgingly applaud Hallmark for taking this small step in an effort to promote understanding and tolerance. It wasn't great, nor horrible, just okay.