tek's rating: ½

Teen Witch (PG-13)
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So I guess this came out in 1989. I know we had it on VHS when I was younger, but I don't remember when exactly I first watched it. It starred Robyn Lively, of whom I must have already been a fan from a few other things. Um, I don't remember what I thought of the movie at the time, but I finally watched it again on DVD in 2013... and man, it is painfully 80s. Otherwise it's not bad, I guess. (I may say things later in this review that sound bad, but don't listen to me, okay?)

Okay, Lively plays this 15-year-old girl named Louise Miller, who seems to be one of the unpopular kids at school. (Her only friend, as far as I can tell, is a girl named Polly.) Louise has a crush on Brad, the most popular boy at school, who is dating a girl named Randa. One night, circumstances lead Louise to a fortuneteller named Madame Serena (Zelda Rubinstein). She tells Louise that she will gain certain powers on her 16th birthday, which comes the next week. And sure enough, Louise's wishes start coming true. It freaks her out at first, but with Serena's help, she begins learning to control her powers. She becomes popular, and Brad takes an interest in her. She also uses her power to help Polly at one point (it involves a sort of lame rap song that I probably never would have thought of again in my life, but when I watched the movie again, it was probably the most familiar thing in the movie to me, weirdly enough). And to help a favored teacher. (She also used her powers to embarrass a disliked teacher, which was played for laughs here, but in real life I'm sure would have caused him to lose his job, at the very least.) But... in spite of all the fun she's having, she soon realizes she doesn't want Brad to like her because of some spell, but because of who she really is. Which I guess is a decent attitude, but I'm not sure how decent her attitude about everything else was. I dunno, she seems like a nice kid, and of course most of the other kids suck, because it's an 80s movie. So maybe it all makes sense, maybe it's all fair. I didn't really care for the ending that much, because it seemed sort of... vague. And um... also because aside from Louise, Serena, and Polly, I found everyone else so generic and unmemorable that the actors could have easily been replaced between scenes without my noticing. And in fact she ends up dancing with some boy who I didn't even recognize at all. Was it Brad? That's the only thing that would make any kind of sense at all, but I have no bloody idea. I didn't think it was him, but if it wasn't... it was some completely random person we never saw before. Or not. I dunno. It was probably Brad. I suck at recognizing people, and that's not the movie's fault.

Sigh. I don't know what else to say. If I like the movie at all, it's because of Robyn Lively. Anyway, it's a pretty neat trick to make a movie about a teen witch seem so bland. Seriously, the movie had so much potential, and it delivers so little. There were things that were mildly amusing, and the 80s-ness of it all is extra amusing in hindsight. But otherwise... the whole thing is just so clichéd. But um... I guess it's entertaining enough to be worth watching once every couple decades.


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