Who’s in the mood to see a strange movie, about an attractive girl, slowly going crazy, pulling her pants down and shoving her crotch in Michael Cera’s face? How about a movie that has Michael Cera speaking Spanish and trying to act sexy, but comes off pretty damn creepy instead? If you said yes to either of those, than I guess Magic Magic is exactly what you’re looking for, but really I can’t believe you said yes to any one of those. I mean seriously, what’s happened to you man? You use to be so normal and sane. Are you not sleeping? Maybe taking too many pills? I guess we’ll never know…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A naive young tourist’s road trip across Chile with friends turns into a waking nightmare.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: Alicia (Juno Temple) is visiting her cousin, Sara, in Chile, along with her cousin’s friends. Alicia is quirky and unstable from the start and when Sara leaves Alicia alone with her friends for a few days, she quickly unravels and starts hallucinating and having trouble sleeping. She suspects Sara’s friends are out to get her, especially Brink (Michael Cera), who comes off as a cruel guy, constantly poking fun at Alicia and trying to seduce her at the same time. It’s obvious Brink has never been with a woman before, cause his tactics leave a lot to be desired and the unraveling of Alicia, as she slowly descends into madness, either from lack of sleep, or too many pills, gives credence to that theory.
Tatlock’s Opinion: Magic Magic is a strange movie, that tries its hardest to come off as some mysterious psychological thriller, throwing twists and turns your way, as Alicia’s psyche slowly crumbles. Thanks to Juno Temple’s performance, Magic Magic does do a good job serving up a story that has you riding crazily along with Alicia, wondering if several of the things she is seeing is actually really happening. It’s a sad story and come the end, you may feel just a tinge of sadness for Alicia, which is exactly what the movie wants you feeling.
However, if it wasn’t for Juno Temple’s performance, the movie wouldn’t have much else going for it. It plods along, with secondary characters that are never fully developed, except for possibly Michael Cera’s Brink, who has some ample screen time being a creepy douche, spouting Spanish and creeping on Alicia. He is a despicable character and you just want to punch him, so bravo to Cera for doing a good job. Everyone else is kind of just there for Temple to bounce off of. Emily Browning disappears for a good portion of the movie and when she comes back into it, her side story has little meaning to the overall plot, unless you make up some back story for Alicia, which this movie forces you to do, as it doesn’t spend anytime trying to explain why Alicia is this way.
Verdict: So, the real question is, did I like the movie? I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. It’s slow at times and any lack of back story or development on characters leaves you with a feeling of emptiness, but the movie does a good job at making you feel for Alicia and wishing her the best, but sadly happy endings are a rare thing. I do recommend Magic Magic, but don’t expect a psychological thriller that leaves you on the edge of seat, but one that leaves you slightly in the middle.