Romcoms have a long history of abusing magic. Need to change a misogynist? Give him a curse. Got a protagonist who doesn't appreciate life? Kill her. Here's our list of the worst magic exploitation flicks, in order of awfulness.
There is nothing wrong with a little magic. Who hasn't collected petals while spouting out their favorite qualities in a mate secretly hoping they would fly into the air, Practical Magic style? Or made our own Love Potion # 9, or hummed "Walk Like A Man" while strolling down the street with a flock of the undead? There are plenty of magical movies that use magic or spirituality for the benefit of us all. But then there are those that use abuse magic. These are the worst of the bunch.
Just Like Heaven
Crimes against magic: Ghosts, and ghostly honor in general. Reese's take on the undead made Casper look like a bad ass. And he was a cartoon child ghost.
Tag lined, "It's A Wonderful Afterlife," what's not to hate about this film? Reese Witherspoon is a career woman, so naturally she doesn't appreciate life or even deserve to live. So they kill her, and she comes back as a ghost who then falls in love with the man who is subletting her home, as ghosts do.
Just My Luck
Crimes against magic: Good luck charms. If Lindsay Lohan's crap life in NYC is lucky then I don't want to be lucky, ever.
Lindsay Lohan is so lucky, and Chris Pine is not. In fact he's so unlucky he gets fired from jobs he's not paid for and Lohan is so lucky she gets free dresses and meets Chris Pine. But when they kiss, their luck is switched. Fast forward to these two idiots actually figuring this whole scenario out and kiss passing their luck back and forth.
When In Rome
Crimes against magic: Magic fountains, magic coins, and magic wishes.
Did you know that if you steal coins out of a magical fountain in Rome then the throwers of said coin will automatically fall in love with you? Thank god Kristen Bell only picked out comically funny single and straight men to fall in love with her. That would be weird if Betty White became one of her suitors. Actually I'm surprised this wasn't included; the movie is that stupid. Anyway she grabs coins and gets a bunch of crazy men to follow after her because now that she took their fountain coins they are her love slaves, whether they wished for love or not.
What Women Want
Crimes against magic: Make Up Inspired Mind Reading Curse
Please explain this to me, how does putting on women's products and then electrocuting yourself equal a new mind reading gift? And then to get rid of it you simply have to go to Chinatown, wave around some old lady, feel really guilty about being a schmuck all the time and bingo bango, you're cured. Also if anyone had this ability, not just some creepy old Dad who's reliving his glory days sleeping with Starbucks barista, but anyone, there is no way in hell they would use this magic to better themselves. I'd be hanging out in ATMs stealing pin numbers, listening in on stock tips, selling secrets, the works.
The Lake House
Crimes against magic: A magical mailbox.
Two tenants separated by time find each other by sending magic time traveling letters via a magical mailbox. Sandra Bullock is in the future and Keanu is in the past, but somehow they can argue through paper.
Crimes against magic: Terrible witchcraft.
"Magic opened up their hearts... Love did the rest." It's Like Water For Chocolate for idiots and with no soul, heart or reasoning. We love Sarah Michelle Gellar but this odd little witch actually made magic painfully dull.
Crimes against magic: A magical birthday wish.
When a little boy wishes for a father who can't lie, the results are "humorous," with Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey using facial tics and body hijinks. But the actual magic: a birthday wish. All I have to say is that my parents are super lucky this isn't reality or my house would have been filled with ponies. Sorry, I just don't believe that any kid, even the most down-to-earth, floppy-haired, I-just-want-to-be-loved child would ever waste a birthday wish on something like this. No matter how funny.
Crimes against magic: Magical Love Book That Cures Alzheimer's Disease
Don't get me wrong, I cry as much as the next sap when the two crazy kids finally get to be together. But what I could have done without is the magical love book nonsense that cures Alzheimer's disease, but only for 5 minutes. And plus, they clearly don't even need it because when the elderly couple decide to magic themselves to death she remembers who he is right away.
Over Her Dead Body
Crimes against magic: Ghosts
Ah man ex-fiancees are a bitch. Especially when they are undead and hang out whenever you're trying to get it on with your new girlfriend, who is also a spirit guide. Calamity ensues!
Good Luck Chuck
Crimes against magic: Good Luck Penis
If you sleep with Dane Cook, his magical penis will make sure that you find your true love. But what happens when he meets the woman he wants to marry, will his magic dick get in the way?
Two of A Kind
Crimes against magic: Divine Love Life Intervention
Gene Hackman is God and he hates humans now. But the angels don't want him to end the world so they pick John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John to prove the humans deserve another chance. Apparently God is a big fan of Grease.
Crimes against magic: Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins magictizes Jack Black into only seeing inner beauty, because he's so "shallow." So naturally he falls in love with a morbidly obese lady. Because that's the only way he would ever fall in love with her or something horrible like that. Really this is just a terrible movie wrapped with a lie and teaches us nothing, nothing at all.
Ghost of Girlfriends Past
Crimes against magic: Ghosts, Christmas Carol Magic
Matthew McConaughey has money, talent, a career, and everyone loves him, but you know what he hates, respecting women. And boy does he. He's the Scrooge of women's rights, at least that's what this film is trying to portray him as. But instead of just taking him outside and giving this terrible character a proper beating for treating women like disposable objects, they Christmas Carol his ass. Thus giving us all a chance to see why it's ok that he acts like such a jerk to women, and forcing us to root for him to change into a better man. God Bless us everyone, unless you're a woman. The 80s girlfriend ghost is pretty great, but the rest, well it's a Christmas disaster.
13 Going on 30
Crimes against magic: Wishing Powder
Magical wishing powder jumps Jennifer Garner from 13 to 30, but her brain is still 13. Secret confession, I love Garner in this, when she excitedly yells about how she's got incredible boobs now, that was completely adorable. As was the Thriller dance off. Still, horrible magic.
Down To Earth
Crimes against magic: Shitty Angels
Chris Rock's angel messes up and gets him killed, his bad. Since he wasn't supposed to die Chris Rock gets a free body pass and ends up in the skin of an old rich white guy. Again, hilarity ensues. Still this isn't even a forever body. It's a loaner, until they kill an attractive young black comedian and slip Chris Rock back into his body. These angels man, when they mess up, everyone dies.
Kate And Leopold
Crimes against magic: Time Warp Holes
Meg Ryan's ex-boyfriend finds a time portal into the 1800s, but uh oh the handsome Duke Hugh Jackman follows him home. Methinks Hugh Jackman should not have slipped so elegantly into our time period, he goes what one day and he's mastered computers, coffee machines, elevators, phones and more. Also, you gotta love that the time portal is over a bridge that you literally have to leap to your death to access. Why there, because it's super dramaticy.
Crimes against magic: Magical Time Traveling Wizards
A Knight and his servant wind up transported to New York City. Christina Applegate is responsible for both of them, and teaching them how to make it in NYC. But in reality she learns more from them. Needs more dragons to make up for all these toilet jokes.