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Movie Review: “Half Magic”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 2/23/2018

Theatrical Release: 2/23/2018

Synopsis

Honey (Heather Graham), Eva (Angela Kinsey), and Candy (Stephanie Beatriz) share a connection over their difficulties with men. Honey has been in a relationship of sorts with a movie star (Chris D’Elia), who insults her ability as a writer and uses her for quickies at work. Eva‘s husband recently left her for a much younger woman, and Candy has been seeing a man who does not believe in monogamy and expects her to do his laundry for him. The three have very different experiences, but they all have one issue in common: men.

The three meet and decide to form a pact in which they confide in and giving advice to one another. That was their plan, however, before Candy discovered magic candles that, when lit, grants their user a wish. They each wish to improve their love lives, and change their lifestyles. However, the magic candles are just half of the battle, as they will still need to rely on support from each other if they are to follow through with what they wished for.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

The Premise (+2pts)

The Plot (-8pts)

The Friendship (+2pts)

The Relationships (-5pts)

The Cast (+3pts)

The Comedy (-6pts)

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Pro: The Premise (+2pts)

I thought the premise was one that could have worked really well. A group of women—struggling with their own respective relationship issues—stumbled upon some magic that could supposedly solve all of the problems in their love lives. It sounded too good to be true, but I think the idea had the potential of making for plenty of awkward and raunchy comedic moments. Unfortunately, I thought the filmmakers did a poor job of executing that premise, but it was a solid premise nonetheless, and I thought that this movie’s better moments—although few and far between—were a result of having a decent premise to support it.

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Con: The Plot (-8pts)

The plot of this movie was pretty poorly written. It felt like there was no purpose to what was happening, and it felt like none of the characters grew at all. The entire movie just felt like a random series of events, happening to a group of one-dimensional characters. The rising action did not seem to build toward anything, and the story’s climax was seemingly nonexistent.

I wanted to like this movie. It had a decent cast, and a decent premise, but there seemed to be no cohesive plot. It was like the writers were just winging it, phoning it in, or that this was the first script that the writers had ever written. I very honestly had a tough time getting through this movie, and that is saying something, as I usually have no problem sitting through even bad movies. This plot was exceptionally bad, and I am honesty baffled that anyone would think that it was worth bringing to the screen without major rewrites and reshoots.

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Pro: The Friendship (+2pts)

I completely bought that the three main characters were friends. To be fair, I think that had more to do with the chemistry between the three lead actresses, and less to do with the writing, but nonetheless, I bought the friendship between these three characters. The story needed each of these three characters to be in on the magic. The characters needed to trust each other, and they needed to tell each other very personal things about their own love lives. In order to buy into this premise, we needed to buy that these characters were close enough to share such personal details with one another. Thanks to the chemistry between the three lead actresses, I was able to do just that.

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Con: The Relationships (-5pts)

The relationships in this movie were just as poorly written and one dimensional as the plot and the main characters. When I say “the relationships”, I am referring to the three men that each of the respective main characters were dealing with. Honey was dealing with a misogynistic action star named Peter Brock. Imagine a misogynist that has been exaggerated to an unbelievable degree, and the character you are imagining is Peter Brock (Chris D’Elia), and he was just too unbelievable for me.

Eva was dealing with her ex-husband Darren (Thomas Lennon), who left her for a younger woman. Candy was dealing with a guy who did not believe in monogamy and expected her to do his laundry. All three of these characters felt like one-dimensional stereotypes of how some women see men. None of these three characters had any sort of depth or complexity to make them interesting or relatable, and they were just three more one-dimensional characters in a poorly written movie.

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Pro: The Cast (+3pts)

I know that I have already mentioned that I liked the chemistry between the three main characters, but I bought each of these characters individually as well. The three actresses in these roles made it easy to buy into the issues their characters were facing, and it also made it easy to buy into their characters’ emotion in response to their issues. Each character had their share of drama and attempted comedy, and each actress was able to tap into both of things effectively when they needed to. To be fair, these characters were mostly one-dimensional, and none of their comedy really landed all that much. I thought this movie had a lot of problems, and the writing was the biggest one. With that all being said, I do not think any of these three actresses were problems for this movie. They each did a decent job with what they were given, but what they were given was not a good movie.

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Con: The Comedy (-6pts)

Based on the silly premise and the light tone, I am assuming that this movie was supposed to be a light-hearted comedy. Unfortunately, it was rarely that funny. The funniest moments seemed to involve the ridiculous male characters and the main characters’ opinions toward them, but even these moments were not very funny. The jokes very rarely landed and to be honest, I really cannot recall a single funny moment or line from the entire movie. It was certainly a light-hearted movie, but there were surprisingly few laughs for a movie that was supposed to be a comedy.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: D- (63pts)

Half Magic had the potential of being a pretty effective and entertaining light-hearted comedy. It had a silly and ridiculous premise, and it had a decent main cast. The three main actresses did a decent job with what they were given, and they had pretty decent chemistry together, which made it easy to buy into their friendship. Unfortunately, the movie's strengths ended there, and were some pretty major issues.

All of the movie's problems seemed to come back to the writing. First, there was the almost non-existent plot. The rising action was missing any sort of build up, and it did not amount to any sort of climax. Then there were the characters, who were all one-dimensional—especially the main character's male counterparts—and the main characters did not grow much, if at all. Finally, there was the comedy which almost exclusively fell flat, as I cannot recall a single time that I actually laughed, or even chuckled. This movie was honestly a struggle to get through, and I think that I was only able to get through it, because I was planning on writing this review. Movies should be a form of escape, and they should be entertaining above all else, but this movie felt like a chore and I am honestly shocked that anyone thought it was ready for release as is.

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