Movie Reviews

6 Most Memorable Scenes In Practical Magic


  • Practical Magic offers a blend of fantasy, romance, and dark humor that resonates with audiences.
  • Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock return in Practical Magic 2, building on the powerful themes of love, loss, and acceptance.
  • The film expertly balances magic with real-life emotions, showcasing the strength of sisterhood and personal growth.

Practical Magic has many memorable scenes throughout the story thanks to an intricate fantasy script and romantic plot lines that hold something for all audiences. Starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock as Gillian and Sally Owens, a pair of twins who belong to a family of witches, the movie takes on serious subject matter about love, loss, and acceptance, both internal and external. As a female-led narrative, the film is pigeonholed as a rom-com, but it’s much more than that and has become somewhat of a cult classic with viewers who’ve found it on streaming in the past few years.

What the next iteration of the story holds remains unknown, but it will be interesting to see if the plot will pick up with Sally’s daughters.

Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock will return in Practical Magic 2, the long-awaited sequel that has gained momentum thanks to a recent resurgence in the original film’s popularity. What the next iteration of the story holds remains unknown, but it will be interesting to see if the plot will pick up with Sally’s daughters. Practical Magic deals with the Owens curse that a man who falls in love with the women in the family is destined to die, but the movie successfully puts that to bed. However, the curse could rear its head for the next generation.

Tonally, Practical Magic is somewhat different from what viewers might expect, as the story and actors are unafraid to get dark. However, this darkness is frequently subverted and played for laughs as the film is in conversation with the genres it engages with. With equal moments of joy and pain, Practical Magic is as realistic a depiction of grief and personal growth as a story about witches can get. Looking back at the moments that have made the movie stick out in the cultural memory, it’s easy to see why audiences are excited to return to Sally and Gillian’s world.

6 This Kiss Scene

One of the best parts of the movie thanks to the iconic needle drop.

In one of the best needle drops in movies, Practical Magic includes “This Kiss” by Faith Hill in the scene with Salyl and her first husband. The happiness and perfection of this moment are made even more poignant later on when Sally loses her husband and is overcome by grief. However, this kind of juxtaposition is what the film excels at more than anything, as there can be no highs without the same number of lows. Later, when Sally ends up with Gary (Aidan Quinn), the same feeling is evoked thanks to the impact of the “This Kiss” scene.

It’s the kind of moment that rom-coms and romance films of all types try to emulate.

While Sally and Gillian’s relationship is the most important in the movie, Sally’s journey to finding love and then letting it back into her life after experiencing loss is incredibly impactful. When Sally finds out the reason she fell in love with her first husband was because her aunts cast a love spell on her, it’s devastating. However, the magic of their first kiss is obvious. It’s the kind of moment that rom-coms and romance films of all types try to emulate. This is because it demonstrates a clear connection and capitalizes on the fantasy of romantic love in cinema.

5 Sally Rescuing Gillian From Jimmy

The bond between Sally and Gillian is what gets them into their predicament, but it also saves them.

From a young age, all Gillian and Sally have are each other. Though they respond to their grief differently, they make a pact that they’ll always be there for each other when Gillian leaves home in search of love. Unfortunately, Gillian is treated poorly in many relationships, and this escalates to the point of physical abuse with Jimmy (Goran Visnjic). Gillian reaches out to Sally, and her sister immediately comes to her aid and brings her home. Of course, things quickly go awry, and Gillian and Sally end up dealing with the vengeful spirit of Jimmy throughout the story.

However, this plot point is vitally important in communicating the strength of the bond between the sisters. Even though Sally has two daughters at home and a life of her own, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for Gillian, and she drops everything to ensure that she’s not being harmed. This familial connection is emphasized throughout the film, and Kidman and Bullock’s chemistry is instrumental in pulling off the sister’s dynamic. It’s their attempted escape from Jimmy that puts them in the most danger but also leads them both to find lives that bring them happiness they never thought possible.


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4 Bringing Jimmy Back To Life

After defending themselves from Jimmy, the sisters try to bring him back.

Gillian and Sally try to resurrect Jimmy because they don’t want to go down for a crime of self-defense.

No matter the movie, bringing someone back from the dead is one of the cardinal magical rules that cannot be broken. Across media and magic systems in fiction, once someone is dead, there’s no bringing them back to the land of the living. If characters are successful in this, the person comes back wrong and drastically altered from who they were. In the case of Jimmy in Practical Magic, the person he was isn’t good to begin with. Gillian and Sally try to resurrect Jimmy because they don’t want to go down for a crime of self-defense.

The best magic systems in fantasy movies, like Practical Magic, do a great job of balancing the risks and rewards of magic. The witches in the story don’t have all-seeing control of everything, and often, Sally and Gillian face severe consequences for their misuse of magic. During the resurrection scene, the atmosphere of the film is ominous, but the power the two women share is palpable. It’s a tonal turning point in the movie as up until this point, sadness and grief were the darkest parts of the story, but now the characters have become implicated in a serious crime.

3 Midnight Margaritas

A key moment of bonding and love between generations in the family.

Sally and Gillian’s aunts, Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest), are an essential part of Sally and Gillian’s upbringing, as they go to live with them as children when their parents die. While Sally is the serious and stubborn one of the sisters, she’s just as capable of letting loose and having fun, as shown when the family makes midnight margaritas. They all have the opportunity to talk honestly and share how they’ve been feeling while letting go of their adult responsibilities for one night. It’s important for Sally, whose journey is about finding joy in her life again.

The margarita scene comes at an important moment in Practical Magic, as it’s a breath of fresh air after the intensity of Jimmy’s death and attempted resurrection. It also illustrates how the bond of sisterhood is inextricable from their family, and the aunts are just as connected as Sally and Gillian are. Their relationship is a window into how Sally and Gillian might behave in the future, as well as Sally’s daughters. Though the scene quickly devolves into anger and foreshadows the continuing threat of Jimmy’s spirit, it features another iconic song and shows the playful side of the movie.

2 The Women In Town Forming The Coven

They save Gillian from being possessed, and Sally realizes she wants to share magic with her daughters.

After the death of her husband, Sally pulls away from life, and though she tries to be there for her daughters, it’s hard on her. She blames magic for her husband’s death and tries to keep her daughters away from it at all costs. Sally’s fear and shame surrounding being a witch inadvertently impact her daughters, and she continues the cycle of unhappiness started by her ancestors many years ago. However, when Jimmy’s spirit possesses Gillian and her life hangs in the balance, Sally has no choice but to accept herself and power and show it to the world.

Though they had plenty of love from each other and their aunts, the other women in town shunned them for being witches.

Female empowerment is at the heart of Practical Magic, but this support is something that’s missing from Sally and Gillian’s lives. Though they had plenty of love from each other and their aunts, the other women in town shunned them for being witches. However, this all changes when Sally enlists everyone who’s asked for spells from her and her aunts to form a coven to generate the power to exorcise Jimmy’s spirit from Gillian’s body. It’s a beautiful moment of unity, as Sally is only able to save her beloved sister by relying on others and trusting herself.


Practical Magic Ending Explained

The cult classic Practical Magic has a happy ending, but with a sequel on the way, it’s worth revisiting the story and what went into that ending.

1 Taking Flight On The Roof

The final moment of the film is when Sally and Gillian are embraced by their community.

Practical Magic is as much about self-acceptance and feeling wanted in a community as it is about spells and romance. Throughout the film, Sally pushes away her abilities as a witch for many reasons, but one of the biggest is the treatment she and Gillian face at the hands of their peers. They’re ostracized by the other members of their small town in a way that mirrors the infamous Salem Witch Trials. While Gillian revels in this difference and pushes away her bullies to embrace herself, Sally wants to be part of the community because of her daughters.

However, by the end of the film, not only do Sally and Gillian feel empowered to show their true selves to their town, but also to heal from the difficulties they’ve faced. They climb atop the roof of their iconic farmhouse with their aunts and Sally’s daughters, dressed as classic witches for Halloween. During this scene, Sally’s famous voice-over plays, wrapping up the story with one of the best quotes in Practical Magic. The audience is left with a satisfying happily-ever-after, and the characters have successfully developed into the fullest versions of themselves.

Practical Magic - Poster - Sandra Bullocak and nicole kidman

Practical Magic

Griffin Dunne

Release Date
October 16, 1998

Alice Hoffman , Robin Swicord , Akiva Goldsman , Adam Brooks

Nicole Kidman , Sandra Bullock , Stockard Channing , Dianne Wiest , Goran Visnjic , Aidan Quinn , Evan Rachel Wood , Mark Feuerstein

104 Minutes

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