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The Call of the Void

Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry


One of my favorite movies of all time is Practical Magic. Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the movie tells the story of two witch sisters who, because they carry the Owens last name, are cursed from finding ever-lasting love.

I remember watching this movie every day when I was younger and falling in love every time. After all, it is a romance. A romance between two sisters, and a romance between star-crossed lovers. 

I don’t know what captivated me about this haunting classic. Perhaps it was the witchy soundtrack from the ethereal Stevie Nicks, the spell-binding magic, or the fact that I just simply wanted to be a part of the Owens family. I mean, I wept when Sandra Bullock’s character lost her husband to the curse, and I sang to Harry Nilsson’s 1971 classic “Coconut” on margarita night. 

My younger self didn’t understand the verses of love that were woven throughout this film (to be fair, I shouldn’t have watched it anyway because it isn’t exactly a “kids’ movie”). But I’d like to think of it as a start to a blossoming romance. 

There’s this one scene in particular where an adolescent Sally Owens (Camilla Belle) is conjuring up a spell called amas veritas (which more or less translates into “you love”) as a sort of protection from her ever falling in love.

She dreams up a guy who can hear her call a mile way, ride a pony backwards, and flip pancakes in the air—all specific characteristics that are nearly impossible for a single person to embody. This is because in her mind, if he doesn’t exist, she’ll never die of a broken heart. It is because of this scene where I truly learned what it meant to love and to be loved. 

Matter of fact, this is the only film where I ever felt I truly took something away from the story. I learned the difference between love and lust. For these reasons, I am forever grateful for this movie. This is my love letter to you, Practical Magic. Because, without you, I don’t think I could comprehend what it means to truly love a movie.

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