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'Half-Magic' Trailer: Oh! That's What Stephanie Beatriz Looks When She's Playing a Happy Character

By Jodi Smith | Industry | December 19, 2017 |

By Jodi Smith | Industry | December 19, 2017 |

Heather Graham has added director and writer to her resume with Half-Magic, a film she describes as “… about sex. No matter what kind of negative attitudes you might have picked up from religious or cultural conditioning, this story is about learning to love your sexuality and seeing it as a beautiful part of yourself.”

And you read that and you think, “Okay. I can roll with this. I loved you in Boogie Nights, so let’s see what you have to say about sexuality in the framework of empowerment and self-acceptance.” And then you watch the trailer.

Johnny Knoxville is playing a preacher.

Putting that aside, you have Graham alongside Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz and Angela Kinsey from The Office. These women are funny women, but you can’t tell in the trailer. The jokes are lazy and feel old. The premise is lazy and feels old. I’m not sure that having your characters LITERALLY SAY THEY DESERVE BETTER is the same as SHOWING THAT THEY DESERVE BETTER and doing it in a way that is cathartic for the characters and audience.

It’s clear from the trailer that Graham had a specific message she wanted to hammer home and specific notes she wanted to hit. Unfortunately for us, the message and the notes are old and their presentation unimaginative. Hopefully the final product has more pop when it enters theaters in February 2018.

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Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.