George Miller’s The Witches of Eastwick is a naughty fantasy/horror with elements of comedy about three single ladies who have their desires awarded when an enigmatic, extravagant man suddenly moves into their charming town of Eastwick and crosses their paths with seduction. Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer), Jane Spofford (Susan Sarandon) and Alexandra Medford (Cher) are three enchantresses in New England who crave a man different than the ones they’ve had in the past. Their wish is granted, at a price, when the well-heeled Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) arrives in the country village and purchases a castle and ends up being the horny devil.
This is a story about men versus women. Men believe they are coherent and logical. The world is methodical with structure. There’s a rationalization for everything. Women believe the exact opposite. The world is up in the air, unstable, anything can change at any given moment. Daryl is spellbound by women. “You make babies. You make milk to feed the babies.” He tells Sukie, as they frolic in the pool. The film explores how women are linked to separate things than men. Women are the spring, the cradle, the foundation and the influence with the capacity to control. The right women for Daryl are the one’s who’ve gone through the three D’s: death, destruction and divorce. He claims that the death of a woman is when she gets married. “Marriage is good for the man, but death for the woman. He killed her!” Once she’s destroyed by the marriage, she gets divorced “and when that happens, she flowers! She blooms!” Daryl speaks of God quite often, amid his hilarious and blasphemous claims. “Are women a mistake, or did he do it on purpose? If it was a mistake, maybe we can do something about it. Find a cure. Maybe a vaccine. Build up our immune systems!”
The Witches of Eastwick is a wickedly satisfying magical story for adults, filled with kiss and tell intimacies, provocative scenarios, seduction, sex, lampooning and an overall dark-fantasy with a comedic edge. It’s lusciously devilish and filled with constant sounds of storms, burning woodfires and magnificent set-pieces that mesmerize, like Daryl laying on zebra swimming pool float feeding Jane cherries from the massive bowl on his lap. The sounds of rain and thunder, sex, violins, and thousands of pink balloons filling a ballroom with operatic music as Sukie, Jane and Alexandra play and fly in the air with Daryl, never fail to captivate our senses. Every frame of this film exudes an emotion, especially a surreal scene where Daryl and the ladies play doubles tennis. This film is a hidden gem of the late eighties about God and the Devil within a story that involves a playboy seducing playmates, sparking a debate between men versus women. It explores the depths of who destroys who, and why we crave each other’s love so much.