Costober 2020 Day 22: The Owens Sisters

Today’s witch is actually a dynasty of witches, the generations of Owens sisters from the novel Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, and its film adaptation.

About the Look

I love, love, love this movie. It’s billed as a romantic comedy and I guess that’s true. There’s romance and comedy. Also a curse and a murder and a zombie and multiple love spells. But (and the poster design bears this out) it’s mainly a love story between the two Owens sisters.

It’s also decidedly feminist. I don’t think it would pass a reverse Bechdel test because none of the men speak to each other. Of those men, only the two antagonists, one evil and one good, have any real characterization and it’s all in service of the sisters’ story. And there are just so many more women.

Sally and Gilly Owens are the middle set of sisters in the story. They were raised by their aunts, Frances and Jet, and Sally has two daughters, Kylie and Antonia (they are kids in the film, teens in the book). There is also a whole ‘coven’ of their women neighbors who participate in the final spell. From the opening scene to the climax, the movie centers the power of women, and especially the power of women working together.

There’s more story in the book. And the film is criticized for abrupt shifts in tone. But it doesn’t just make me “feel good”, it makes me feel powerful.

About My Look

So I waffle between if I’m a Sally, the practical and perseverant elder sister, or a Gilly, the free spirited and impulsive younger sister. Because truly, I relate to them both. But I think maybe I dress more like Sally. Certainly it was easier to find clothes in my wardrobe that suggest her causal feminine aesthetic than do Gilly’s sexy boho goth style.

My jeans and blouse were purchased secondhand. The jeans for general wear, the blouse for this purpose (but my daughter has already claimed it post photoshoot!). Shoes are also secondhand. And I kept my make-up simple, just eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.

I got the necklace on Poshmark. Generations of Owens sisters were bullied for their witchcraft, children chanting “Witch! Witch! You’re a Bitch!”. But the family embrace their heritage. The book was in family bookshelves growing up and is now part of my collection of fiction and non-fiction books about magic.

Since it wasn’t midnight, my margarita is actually lime juice— but I have tequila for later.

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