Life Lessons to be Learned From 'Practical Magic'

It is my firm belief that Practical Magic is the most overlooked Halloween movie out there. Every year it always seems like everyone is talking about and obsessing over how much they love Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown, but never Practical Magic. This seems very unfair considering I know everyone loves a good movie about magic, family bonding, and female empowerment: the three main tiers that Practical Magic is built upon. There are so many amazing moments and life lessons to be found in this Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman classic, so, here are four of them:

1. It does no good to be afraid to fall in love.

When Sally (Sandra Bullock) is a little girl she desperately never wants to fall in love to the point that she casts a spell to try and create an impossible man that could never exist to fall in love with her. Of course, this spell doesn’t exactly work out the way she thought it would and no one can control their emotions. Sally ends up falling in love anyway and having her heart broken, but soon realizes it does her no good to live in fear of her own emotions because she’s only stopping herself from being happy. After Sally falls in love for the first time she feels joy and she feels happiness and when that love ends she’s still able to live a life with happiness and joy in it.

2. It also does no good to desperately try to fall headfirst into love.

Sally’s sister Gillian (Nicole Kidman) is the flip side of Sally. From the time that she is a little girl she desperately wants to feel an all-encompassing love to the point that every boyfriend that she has, she goes hard and fast into loving them and over-committing to them. Because she’s trying hard to find someone to fall head over heels in love with, Gillian ends up dating some not so nice guys because she falls for them before she ever really gets to know the real them.

3. You shouldn’t fear the future.

A good chunk of Sally’s life is run by her huge fear of the future that she believes lies before her. The women of Gillian and Sally’s family are cursed so that the men they fall in love with die. This curse is like a cloud that has been hovering over Sally her entire life. When Sally gets married she is terrified of the future for her after her husband dies. Her fear of living without him and her fear of being just like her mother terrifies her to the point of being bedridden and completely unable to live her life. Even though the future seems absolutely terrifying at times that doesn’t mean you should just give up. The future may be scary, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad. There are so many amazing days waiting for you that just haven’t had the chance to happen yet.

4. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Everyone dreams of being able to be this perfectly independent person when they grow up and, while that’s a nice goal to have, it isn’t entirely realistic. There are going to be a lot of moments in life when you suddenly come to a standstill and don’t know where to turn. After Sally’s husband dies she knows that she isn’t in a place to raise her two daughters by herself and goes to her aunts for help. When Gillian knew that the guy she was dating was a bad guy she called Sally for help to come take her back home. When someone gets possessed by a ghost later in the movie Sally knows that she can’t fix it on her own and calls her aunts to come help her. When the aunts know the three of them aren’t enough, they call other women in town that Sally works with and that are on the PTA with her to come help. They are never afraid to ask for help when they need it. You should never be afraid to take a helping hand when it’s reaching out.

All images courtesy of Giphy.