Okay, so apparently a re-boot of the much-loved Archie spin-off, ”Sabrina The Teenage Witch”, is happening. In the re-boot though, she’s a superhero, instead of just a teenage girl with magical powers. I know which one I’d rather be.*
Anyway, I recently got my grubby hands on the original movie of ”Sabrina The Teenage Witch”, which went on to spawn the TV show. I was overjoyed to see it was as fantastic as I remember. Plus, now fashion has rolled back round to the 90′s (hello No Doubt reunion), I still covet most of the clothes. I imagine it’s pretty hard to get hold of this on DVD so I decided to do a re-cap for you. Now no one misses out. I know. I’m selfless.
Also, if this goes well, I will also be re-capping the TV series too. How will we decide if it goes well? Through human sacrifice.
Yep. It’s the same one. I can’t wait till you guys see his haircut.
Uh oh, looks like Sabrina has awakened her magic side! Either that or her game of Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board was hugely successful.
Sabrina’s aunts, Hilda and Zelda, are alerted to the strange goings-on in their nieces’ room by Salem (the family’s talking cat). They rush upstairs and start panicking about her hitting her head on the roof beams, and discuss how they can get her to hover over her bed without waking up.
I feel really sad for these actresses because they didn’t get to be the aunts in the TV show. Do you think it’s because one of them looked too much like Hayley Mills?
In a gloriously well-handled piece of exposition (saying it pretty much straight down the camera lens with both thumbs up) the aunts tell us that Sabrina is not allowed to know she’s a witch until after the full moon of her 16th birthday.
NEXT DAY: Sabrina’s high school.
I feel bad for Jenny (she’s actually named Marni in the movie but I refuse to call her that). She was in the film, then the first season of the TV show, but by season two she’d been replaced with Valerie. I can only assume that this is yet another case of TV executives being scared of the curly-haired girl. We’re just too damn kooky! They can’t handle our kinks!
Hey look, it’s the Grinch!
First reaction – I prefer the Harvey from the TV show, although this one seems to have the same habit of talking out the side of his mouth. I wonder if that was the only requisite for the part.
“We are casting for SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH (MOVIE) we are looking for a male lead to play a high school teenage boy SO AUDITIONS OPEN TO MEN AGED 12-55. Must have the ability to TALK OUT THE SIDE OF HIS MOUTH. That is all.”
Harvey says Sabrina seems…different. Sabrina freaks out because OMG, she feels different! For some reason this really annoys Jenny and she gets so mad she pushes the Grinch into his locker.
At Sabrina’s locker it seems someone has sneaked something pretty onto her shelf. Jenny sees it and comes out with another stupendous line:
With lines like that our poor curly-haired girl never stood a chance.
The Grinch looks pleased with himself.
In a classroom on the otherside of school, Head Mean Girl announces that she’s going to dump Ryan Reynolds. ”But I thought you were in love?” her friend asks, shocked. HMG looks at her incredulously and says:
HMG explains that she is dumping Ryan Reynolds to keep their relationship fresh and exciting. Surely inserting even more French into your conversation would do that? If, by “fresh and exciting” you mean “weird and pretentious”.
Ryan Reynolds spots The Grinch putting some coloured plastic sticks in his locker and asks, “Where’s the party at?” Riverdale sure is a hive of excitement. Turns out The Grinch is helping Sabrina’s aunts organise a surprise 16th birthday party for her. Ryan Reynolds is excited, “Oh that good looking transfer student? Awesome”.
I think I can now confirm that this script was written by a 54 year old virgin called Millicent.
He reveals that he and HMG have already broken up (when??), and invites himself along.
With the one volleyball class of the day over, school is finished, so Jenny and Sabrina ride home. Although Sabrina gets distracted slightly by the sight of her reflection on a broomstick in a nightie.
So the school day ends at about 4pm, non? Sabrina will probably be home at 4.30pm ish, oui? Sounds like the perfect time to start a super cool surprise party for a sixteen year old!
Jenny is really excited about the party, which we discover was organised by Harvey. I’d find it very creepy if I moved to a new town and a guy at school made friends with my family and started liasing with them to throw dorky surprise parties for me. Especially if he looked like The Grinch. Jenny meanwhile is getting into the swing of it by wearing a party hat and squealing about pizza.
But then, just when you think this awesome shindig couldn’t get any better…RYAN REYNOLDS SHOWS UP.
Ryan Reynolds and his oddly dressed cronies wander into the festivities, with Ryan announcing, “Looks like they were expecting us”. There is no reason whatsoever for Ryan, or us, to think he was expected. I believe this is a joke, but I don’t get it.
I’m going to start saying that when I walk into cool places though. Cool places like the dentist.
Sabrina gets some koolaid and runs right over to Ryan.
I think they’re pulling these faces because they’ve just seen this:
Before Sabrina and Ryan can get onto some intimate chatting, Zelda decides to wheel out the home-made Pin The Tail On The Donkey. Ryan’s friends are incredulous. ”This isn’t the third grade”, they scoff.
(Can I OH SNAP myself? Too late, I already did)
The Grinch, of course, sucks up to the aunts and says, “Maybe it would be fun?” Ryan spots that this is a sure-fire way to get Sabrina and says, “Yeah maybe it would be cool.” I can tell you both now that it will categorically not be fun or cool.
One of HMG’s posse is watching from the garden door, and rings HMG on a mobile telephone device. She tells her that Ryan is at the party having a really great time, to which HMG says:
Also I don’t think anyone has used the phrase “do you hear?” like that since a gangster in the 1930′s. Nice one, Millicent!
Back at the party Sabrina is playing Pin The Tail when HMG shows up. They have a weird stand-off while HMG is wearing a party hat and Sabrina is holding the fluffy donkey tail. It’s so intense, you guys!
Then Sabrina has to blow the candles out on her cake. As she does so, she looks at HMG and makes a wish. Suddenly HMG is scratching herself everywhere, and then her hat catches fire on a candle! Luckily The Grinch is around to be a suck-up/nerd-breath.
OH MY GOODNESS, YOU GUYS. LOOK!
That night in her room Sabrina spies Zelda hiding a big rectangle in a desk! Who wouldn’t be suspicious of that?!
She sneaks out and grabs it.
But it is a full moon! Surely that means Sabrina can open it? Why didn’t her aunts give it to her already? That was just dumb of them, no wonder they got re-cast.
She opens it and finds a hardback book full of empty pages. She is suitably disappointed.
She hears someone coming so shoves the book back in the desk and hides in her room. However, when she goes back to get it a second later, it’s disappeared! Spooky!
The next day in gym class (is this a solely sports-teaching high school?) Sabrina and Jenny are talking about getting onto the track team as Jenny claims it’s a great way to pick out a potential date for the spring fling – seriously, Jenny? Jeez girl, YOU’VE GOT TO WORK WITH ME HERE!
They go to do the javelin but HMG is already there, being the best in the whole school.
Cycling shorts are the one item from the 90′s I will not be placing on my body again.
After killing it with her throw, HMG rubs it in Jenny and Sabrina’s faces, “That’s how it’s done”. Sabrina is next up and she has no idea what she’s doing.
Wow it really looks like she’s trying to throw it at Jenny.
Her first try goes steaming out of the school grounds like a massive flying toothpick, but luckily no one sees. I feel like that would be the sort of thing at least one person out of the many on the field would see, but no. No one sees. Not a single person.
Her second try is less ambitious and she just beats HMG instead of trying to harpoon Jenny and send her all the way to Bangkok.
HMG claims it’s beginners’ luck, and then some other people say things, but who cares because here’s Ryan Reynolds running in slow motion!
Thanks to her success, Sabrina is on the track team! Yay! This means she is by default invited to HMG’s pool party! As well as Jenny! YOU GUYS I AM SO EXCITED I CAN HARDLY BREATHE! THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD MAKE THIS ANY BETTER IS IF IT WAS FOLLOWED BY A DRESSING ROOM MONTAGE OF SABRINA AND JENNY TRYING ON OUTFITS!!
Hahahahahaha, they’re in the same outfit, that is so hilarious!
Although kind of a weird thing to wear to a pool party.
Yeah this is far more appropriate.
By the way, throughout this montage a banging guitar song with the chorus, “She’s got personality” is being played. I can only assume this was Millicent’s brilliant way of making sure that any teenage boys watching two spicy ladies dance around in skimpy clothing, were subliminally reminded that it’s personality that’s important.
Whatever, this tune is AWESOME!
THE POOL PARTY.
Hilda and Zelda drop off Sabrina and Jenny, but they also leave Salem there with instructions to watch over Sabrina.
The party is pretty cool. Just your standard affair, lilos, shorts, and beefy men wearing white bow ties and leotards handing out canapes.
Oh brilliant, creepy Grinch man is hiding in the bushes watching Sabrina like a psychopath. Best party ever!
HMG climbs up to the diving board and sprays wax onto it. Then she announces that they’re going to have a diving contest. She also showcases the tightest bathing suit since lycra began.
Now that, my friends, is a high leg!
Sabrina is the first up to dive, and everyone looks up at her and chants her name. So much pressure! In fact too much pressure, because she falls flat on her bottom.
Ouchies! It’s OK though because she hops back up again, cartwheels over the wax and does a perfect dive which leaves all the teenagers flabbergasted!
Well, everyone that is except HMG.
That’s exactly how teenagers talk! Fantastic script-writing Millicent! Come on, put down the cat de-worming medicine, remove your disinfected gloves, and give me a clammy high five!
HMG’s way of really hurting Sabrina is to link the intercom in the dressing room where Sabrina and Jenny are changing, up to a microphone. Why would you have an intercom in a dressing room? Surely you could just knock on the door and ask if there’s anyone in there? Is it a sound-proofed dressing room? Why? Do people make loads of annoying noise when they change? Do I make loads of annoying noise when I change? What sort of noise? *records the sound of self changing*
Woah that is a weird noise.
Sadly Sabrina and Jenny are talking about Ryan Reynolds, mainly his butt. I don’t really get how this is a good way of hurting Sabrina though, as all it does is let Ryan know she thinks he’s a totally hot babe with delicious hair.
“Buns”? Really Millicent? *Shakes head sadly*
Sabrina is mortified and runs home crying. I would run home crying too if everyone heard me say the word “buns”.
She goes straight to her room and lies down on the bed. Her aunts cast a spell from downstairs which makes the wardrobe door in Sabrina’s bedroom creak open, and light pours out from it like a broken fridge.
Sabrina goes through the wardrobe into a magical land, a scene directly stolen from The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. This land has a bed in it, a chair and loads of leaves. I assume this is where Hilda sleeps, hence the leaf on her hand in scene one.
I have to be honest, if this is the best the magical realm has to offer, I’m absolutely fine with not being a witch.
She finds the spell book again, but this time when she opens it, it’s full of spells written in a really cool old-looking font!
Her aunts show up and giggle manically about how she’s really different from everyone else because she’s a witch!
Sabrina gets really mad with them:
But she gets over it the next morning when her aunts reveal they can erase the super embarrassing “buns” incident from human existence.
She warms even more to the witch thing when she realises she can change her clothes with a flick of her finger. This, for me, was always the coolest part of being a teenage witch. I mean, watching the TV series ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, I wasn’t a teenage witch.
OR WAS I…
OR WAS I…
Anyway, if I was a teenage witch I don’t think I would have magicked on some of the outfits Sabrina does. For example this one:
She’s supposed to be finding something suitable to wear to school!
That said, her high school does seem to be predominantly sports-based.
Also, if I was going to change my looks using magic, I wouldn’t ping on a weird plastic wig.
Nor would I pick a strange “punk rock” back-combed fringe:
This is more like it. A wet look vest top in cartoon print and fuchsia lycra skort:
Later that day in a class that doesn’t involve any kind of sports (OMG!) Sabrina helps Jenny do really well on a test by just making up a poem for a spell.
And by the afternoon Sabrina seems completely at home with her witchcraft and is now writing her own spells in her notebook.
Sabrina gets really teenage and petulant, “Well what’s the point of being a witch then?”, she pouts.
I THINK WE ANSWERED THAT EARLIER SABRINA – THE PLASTIC WIGS.
By some weird co-incidence the next day at school Sabrina’s chemistry teacher from yesterday is teaching about witch trials.
I didn’t think this is the kind of thing that would be covered in chemistry, but maybe he’s talking about how wooden stakes burn?
Whatever, it’s good to see Sabrina is getting a well-rounded education of volleyball, track and field, and how to burn witches.
In the locker room (obviously, you know the curriculum) HMG and her gaggle of bitches corner Sabrina.
Look. At. That. Outfit.
You just don’t see enough tight gingham trousers being worn these days, especially not with a fetching matching vest, worn over a frilly t-shirt.
I need this girl’s wardrobe.
HMG starts bragging about how she’s going to take back Ryan Reynolds really dramatically so that they’ll be the talk of the upcoming Spring Fling. Sabrina sneaks round to her locker and pulls out her spell book - because for this spell she apparently needs it – and makes a massive pimple grow on HMG’s face.
Zits really do not go with that outfit
I have to say, Sabrina is not giving witches a good name. So far she’s helped her friend cheat on a test, tried to make someone fall in love with her, and inflicted acne on a teenage girl.
I don’t want to be mean but…
I really hope she does something nice soon or the witches union will get really pissed about this film.
That afternoon Zelda and Hilda are trying to teach Sabrina how to fly. That’s great and all, BUT WHAT IS ZELDA WEARING?
I know she’s supposed to have been alive for about 2000 years, but in what decade was that outfit ever a good idea?
Kimono top? Great, beautiful, very now.
Purple high heels? Sure, why not? They’re a stylish pump and a bit of colour never hurt.
Olive green trousers? I guess.
WEIRD LONG RED CAPE-STYLE HALF SKIRT WITH GOLD TRIM? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.
In what crazy mood would you have to be in to buy that? Does she wear it on its own? Eww! And why would you wear it with those trousers? And was it not kooky enough? She had to add the heels as well?
That evening Sabrina confides in Salem that she’s found a loop-hole for the love spell to use on Ryan Reynolds. Seriously, what is wrong with these women? But then, can you blame her when Ryan looks so amazing when he runs and his mushroom hair flaps around his face??
Sabrina has cleverly realised that the best way to make a super hot guy like Ryan Reynolds fall in love with you is to be the best at sports. Yeah, that’s what guys are looking for in a woman, speed on the racing track.
Actually, this is a town where plastic sticks mean “PARTY” and the majority of a teenagers’ education is gym, so maybe she’s onto something?
Sabrina casts a poem spell onto her shoes and they turn into glam sparkly trainers.
Wonderfully subtle product placement coming up:
*writes rest of piece dressed in head-to-toe adidas*.
Sabrina puts on her jazzy new sneakers and sprints over to the track. HMG is there, waiting to dish out some seriously well-written fighting talk.
She looks like a creepy blonde spider.
Obviously Sabrina runs really fast because she’s wearing her special magic (adidas) trainers. Jenny gets so excited!
What is this, the 60′s? Come on Millicent, you’re not even trying!
When Sabrina wins Harvey goes crazy and starts jumping around all over the place like a monkey incorrectly prescribed ritalin. It’s pretty weird.
In the locker room HMG spies Sabrina’s really great running shoes (adidas) and notices they’re moving around in her bag as if they have a life of their own! Uh oh.
Then at lunch…(This is a really bad screengrab but I NEED you guys to see what Sabrina is wearing)
Wearing enough yellow, babe? I love a good lemon slouch sock worn with white clogs.
Now that Sabrina has beaten HMG, she is the toast of the town and gets invited to sit with HMG’s friends. HMG is nowhere to be seen. Sabrina accepts, and tries to get Jenny to come too, but one of HMG’s old BFF’s says, “Well there’s not really much room at the table”. Jenny politely makes an excuse, but then does the vomit sign when they’re not looking.
I miss the vomit sign. It was one of the best 90′s signs, along with the peace sign and the rock horns.
HMG’s friends are really strange, they all claim to have had plastic surgery and try to get Sabrina to go to their hairdresser. I’ve never had friends like that. Am I missing out?
Sabrina smugly announces to her aunts that she’s found a way to make Ryan Reynolds love her, and they get super mad and tell her that trying to make someone love you, through any means, has bad consequences. Basically if Ryan Reynolds doesn’t really love her, when they kiss she will turn into a cat. Bummer. Sabrina doesn’t seem too worried about it, and why should she be? Ryan saw her win the race, of course he’s going to be completely in love with her now! Jeez, aunts are so dumb.
The next day Sabrina goes to see Jenny, who is super mad and says:
Some really emotional piano music plays while the pair discuss how much they love each other and that Sabrina wants to be best friends with Jenny, not the HMG’s girls.
Then Jenny starts talking about the Spring Fling and admits that the only reason she’s going with her date is because he asked her. It’s really sad! Jenny is a mega babe, despite her lame use of French and phrases from the 60′s, but she’s settling for some shotputter (he actually is a shotputter) because she’s “being realistic”.
Guys, let’s make a pact, let’s not settle for the shotputters in life, OK?
Unless of course your dream love is a shotputter. In which case, wooo!
Sabrina explains the next phase of her plan to make Ryan love her, which is winning All City, but she’s going to do it without the use of magic. You know what that means guys? SPORTS-BASED-PREPARATION-MONTAGE
Jenny pushing Sabrina’s back from behind is definitely the best way to train to win a race.
On the other side of the track Ryan Reynolds sits down next to The Grinch and drops the bombshell that he’s going to take whoever wins All City to the Spring Fling. He also suggests that The Grinch should ask out HMG.
Mmm Ryan’s hair is looking particularly fluffy today.
The Grinch gets all flumoxed and starts stuttering that yes of course he thinks HMG is hot, but “She’s not his type”.
I think we all know who is his type *CREEPY WINDOW GRINCH*.
Next day: ALL CITY!
So Sabrina’s aunts show up, and Zelda is wearing something seriously odd again.
Urgh you guys, she brought Opera glasses.
It’s like, Zelda, stop trying to make it all about you.
The aunts spy The Grinch and decide to read his mind so they can find out what he’s thinking. There’s nothing wrong with two single middle-aged women reading the mind of a teenage boy to find out what he thinks about their niece. Nothing. At. All.
They discover The Grinch wants Sabrina to lose so that then Ryan Reynolds won’t ask her out. Newsflash: The Grinch is a b*stard.
The games begin, and The Grinch can’t help but smile/grimace when Sabrina starts winning events.
Ahh the face of true, twisted Grinch love.
Wow Sabrina manages to win All City! What a massive surprise!
Gosh, who ever knew back rubs were the secret to being successful at sport? *calls Andy Murray*.
Obviously the second that Sabrina crosses the finish line, Ryan Reynolds is there to ask her out to the Spring Fling.
Jeez Ryan, you could have waited till the people running had the chance to leave the bloomin’ track.
Oh hello, amazing outfit Sabrina.
But this scene is really boring and pointless so let’s not talk about it.
OK fine, basically The Grinch tries to tell Sabrina that he’s in creepy love with her, but she just ignores him and tries not to vomit into her yoghurt.
It’s the evening of the Spring Fling and Sabrina’s aunts are really annoyed that Ryan doesn’t come to the house to pick Sabrina up, he just waits in the car for her. Maybe Ryan was worried they’d read his mind? Or that Zelda would be wearing her half-skirt-cape with nothing underneath? Or that Hilda would be covered in leaves from her garden bed? Or maybe he was just concerned he’d blind them with his all-white outfit?
It turns out the whole theme of the dance is silver and white, and guess whose idea that was?
Ryan Reynolds is a terrible date. He treats his ladies like servants, making them fetch drinks for him and his cronies. But Sabrina is in denial and pretends she’s cool with it.
One person who isn’t cool with it is HMG, who breaks into Sabrina’s locker.
She discovers Sabrina’s spell book! HMG OMG you guys! This is seriously bad!
HMG corners Sabrina in the hallway and tells her that she’s onto her, and that she’s going to tell everyone that she’s a witch. Sabrina tries to laugh it off, but then realises she hasn’t got away with it. So she does the only reasonable thing.
SHE TURNS HER INTO A POODLE.
YEAH, GREAT SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM SABRINA.
Ryan Reynolds grabs Sabrina and says loads of people are going to Lookout Point. Does every town in America have a Lookout Point? It seems to come up a lot in TV shows and films, but I’ve never been to one on my trips to the US. In England we just go to the bus stop and worry about the rain frizzing up our hair.
The Grinch hears that Sabrina is at Lookout Point and steals someone’s bike to chase after them. Yet another super wicked plan to get Sabrina. Every girl loves a guy who interrupts your date with the coolest guy in school, especially when he’s all sweaty from riding his bike in his white tuxedo. Cut me off a piece of that!
Anyway, Ryan tries to get Sabrina to kiss him, but she isn’t into it because he’s something of a douchebag.
Sabrina gets out the car and decides to walk, and Ryan drives off in a strop. But Sabrina quickly says a poem and makes this happen:
The Grinch arrives and Sabrina apologises for being silly and liking Ryan Reynolds. Then she and The Grinch dance together in a totally vomtastic way.
You would think he would notice that they’re floating up into the sky on a stream of sparkle, right?
And you’d definitely think he would notice when they left the earth’s atmosphere and hovered close to the moon, surely?
And not even when they land back at school does he question it.
What. A. Goober.
They go back to the dance and Sabrina turns HMG back into a real girl. HMG gets back together with Ryan Reynolds and everything seems fine – she doesn’t mind at all that Sabrina turned her into a dog, and she’s definitely not going to tell everyone that Sabrina is a witch. The poodle trick totally worked! Nice one Sabrina, another loose end tied up perfectly by our golden girl!
This cinematic brilliance ends with The Grinch and Sabrina on the dance floor smooching.
While her aunts hang out in the weird other-realm garden place, dressed in their nighties, and watch their neice kiss The Grinch through a crystal ball.
SO GROSS YOU WEIRDOS!
Wow. Just, wow. What a crazy trip into the life of our favourite teenage witch. I feel a bit scared, a bit emotional, and a bit hungry. How about you guys?