“Somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this” might just be the most poignant line Nicole Kidman has ever uttered on camera since her stunning soliloquy about what it feels like to fall in love in the 1998 cult-classic Practical Magic: “It makes your heart race,” theorizes a bespectacled Kidman-as-witch. “It turns the world upside down. But if you’re not careful, if you don’t keep your eyes on something still, you can lose your balance. You can’t see what’s happening to the people around you. You can’t see that you’re about to fall.”
Instant goosebumps, am I right? But because the suits of Hollywood seem to have lost the spell for giving the masses what they want more often than once a year, we will not be bestowed with a follow-up to the story of sorceress sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens. However, Kidman will be reprising her role in the iconic AMC advertisement that sees the actress sitting alone in a movie theater, reciting a very different kind of soliloquy. To be clear, this is fine. A viable consolation prize, even!
Vanity Fair reports that the actress will once again return to the silver screen—and with any luck, her silver jumpsuit—for a continuation of the advertisement that left an entire nation captivated, confused, or both. “I got a text from the chairman of AMC about a month ago asking me if I would write the next one, and of course the answer to that is yes,” Billy Ray, the man behind the 1-minute cinematic tour de force, divulged to the outlet. “It’s already written.”
Notably, Ray—no relation to the man who once sang about an Achy Breaky Heart—doesn’t just pen commercials that encapsulate the zeitgeist of being alive in 2022, aka discovering joy almost nowhere but in a darkened room staring at a screen. He’s the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind films like Flightplan, The Hunger Games, Richard Jewell, and Captain Phillips. And, as it turns out, if not for Kidman, the world would never know the range of this genius.
“When Nicole first asked me to do it, I was just doing it as a favor,” Ray said. “I said I would do it for free just because I’m a fan and a friend of hers.” Before anyone worried whether or not Ray was adequately compensated for this masterpiece, his agent made certain he’d see his 10 percent. “My agent said, ‘No, that’s not what’s happening here. You need to be paid for this,’” Ray continued. “And it turns out my agent was right, because it’s had real value.”
Considering all it’s inspired—parodies aplenty and salient questions like, Why is a smartly-dressed Oscar winner seeing Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Park alone in an AMC theater that appears to be located in a shopping plaza?—“real value” might just be the understatement of the century.
Frankly, I don’t know who needs to read this, but I don’t need to see the sequel. Just hand Billy Ray his Academy Award, already. And while you’re at it, give us Practical Magic 2, you cowards!
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