Although I did think he was perfect for Gladiator (2000), Russell Crowe has not otherwise ever struck me as a particularly thrilling, sexy, or even all that competent as an actor. He's way more famous than his talent would justify, which perhaps has tended the be the case with all big stars as opposed to great actors. Pair him with Bridget Fonda & you have the potential for a comedy-romance with all the fireworks of a spent Bic lighter.
In Rough Magic (1995), Fonda plays a magician's assistant who heads off to southern Mexico where she'll discover she's a witch who can do real magic, stuff like turning a rude Mexican into a sausage which a dog promptly eats. Though attempting to be Magic Realist, it is too damned ridiculous to qualify as anything but an absurd comedy, no more connected to the higher art of magic realism than would be the television series Bewitched.
Because she took a photograph of a corrupt politician killing a magician, said politician wants to track her down. Expatriot stringer reporter & depressive failure at life, played by Crowe, accepts the thuggish job of finding her, not realizing he would fall in love with a witch.
With a more dynamic cast & a far less sappy director, this might have only been half bad, but as it stands, it's just a stinker. Based on James Hadley Chase's goofy Thorne Smithian novel Miss Shumway Waves a Wand (1949), a better title for the film would have been Fluffy Magic. The film is so lightweight it barely even registers on any scale.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl