Its 12:09 pm
I adore Heather Graham. She is one of the most interesting actresses working today.
Able to seamlessly and effortlessly go between feature films and TV is not a easy task for many actors but Heather does without breaking a sweat,or at least that is how it appears to us.
Now I have watched quite a few of the films Heather has done and while some of them like “Adrift In Manhattan” have been good,others like “My Dead Boyfriend” just leave you shaking your head and wondering what the hell was she thinking. One minute brilliant,the next,yikes!
So when I heard that Heather was writing and directing her first film “Half Magic”,I was wary but curious. Would this be interesting or some actor’s vanity project (ahem,James Franco) that would just there and poo up the screen? I decided to take a chance and bought a copy of Half Magic for the cheetah and I to watch.
Honey (Graham) is an assistant to a big action star named Peter Brock. The film opens up with Brock having sex with Honey who is too guilt ridden to even remotely enjoy it. She flashes back to her days as a child where Father Gary preaches that sex will lead you to hell…
Brock is a complete asswipe who loves to make films where every woman is a “dirty slut” and deserves to die (or every Halloween or Friday the 13th movie ever made). Honey,who wants to be a writer,offers a different alternate during a production meeting in which Brock mocks her every idea but an fellow assistant Daniel (Michael Aronov) likes and encourages Honey. The studio executive also agrees with Honey but because of Brock’s ridicule,she leaves the meeting depressed,she is unhappy with her life.
Honey then stumbles across a women empowerment meeting and it there we meet Candy (Stephanie Beatriz) a super bubbly young woman who wants her boyfriend to have a faithful and equal relationship with her and Eva (Angela Kinsey) who is a well known fashion designer who pines for her ex-husband and borderline stalking him by leaving him dozens of phones messages while drunk.
Honey,Candy and Eva bond pretty much right away and Candy takes them to the candle shop she works at and explains how her candles have magic in them. She leads a skeptical Honey and Eva through Candy’s own ritual,they have to each voice a desire and believe on it. Each woman lights a candle and makes a wish.
The trio then hit a dance party where Honey meets a hip cool Australian named Freedom (Luke Arnold) who is living a seemingly carefree life. It’s a instant connection and the two spend a wonderful night together.
Candy,whose boyfriend continues to walk over her,suddenly gains strength and courage and tells him off….which of of course makes him want to come back to her.
Eva meets a old friend named Mark (Jason Lewis) who she and her husband had been friends with while they were married. When Mark tells Eva he too is now divorced and that he has had a crush on her for 14 years,sparks and passion fly as Eva discovers a whole new world.
But there are many hurdles for these women to overcome,choices to make,heartache to endure and the bonds of friendship tested as well. Life isn’t a magical story but with a bit of Half Magic,there is always hope……
This is a wonderful movie,while a bit raunchy and sassy,the most important Graham has written into story is Half Magic has a real HEART to it. Honey,Eva and especially Candy are really good people who just want what all of us want,to be loved for who we are. This requires a lot of work and it won’t happen just like magic,there has to a real effort in realizing just how important and worthy we are to know its okay to have goals and be happy.
I felt Honey’s story mirrored Heather’s own life in many ways,her story felt a lot more rooted in truth and reality. I felt it more on an emotional level,in fact I felt a little uncomfortable with a couple of scenes because they felt private..in other words,Graham has achieved her goal in getting story across.
Because of life,I had never heard nor seen any of Stephanie or Angela before “Half Magic”. All I know is Stephanie Beatriz is someone you would want to hang out with,she is so warm,open and looks like she is having the time of her life as Candy. Not only is she really funny and ever hopeful,Candy really believes in the power of the candles and her belief really encourages Eva and Honey. I have never watched “Brooklyn 99” but I now have a reason too!
Angela Kinsey as Eva,such a mixed up ball of confusion. Despite her creative genius,she is the least assured and maybe the most damaged of the three friends as she has tied her own self worth into a husband that doesn’t and hasn’t cared for her in a long time despite the sacrifice she has made for him simply because she loves him but can’t figure why he has abandoned their marriage. Because she doesn’t know who she is emotionally,she has the hardest road to go before she can fully blossom.
This is a smartly written and beautifully acted film that believes in the power of “it’s not to late to find yourself”. This is one of the best films we have seen this year.
The cheetah and I think “Half Magic” is magic and we can’t wait to see what Heather comes up with next.
“Half Magic” is a strong R and has a run time of 1 hour 40 minutes. Special features include the trailer and commentary with Heather and Stephanie.
Have you watched “Half Magic”? If so,drop a comment,we would love to hear from you.