George Miller directs this comedy horror based on the John Updike novel. Three bored and sex-starved single women (Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer), who have all lost their husbands, get together once a week for drinks and to fantasise about their ideal man in the small New England town of Eastwick, Rhode Island. The morning after one of these sessions, a mysterious man arrives in town in the form of filthy rich Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), who buys a nearby mansion, and then seduces the friends one by one. They do not at first know that Van Horne is in fact Satan in disguise but when his cover is revealed the women, who are becoming more aware of their own magical powers, plot their escape from Daryl's control.
Jack Nicholson was born to play the devil and in George Miller's adaptation of John Updike's novel he plays it for all he's worth. As a wolfish womaniser summoned by three bored women in a picturesque New England town, he's sating all of his appetites with a rakish grin. Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer play the women who discover their untapped magical powers by accident. The smart and sexy singles, out of place in the conservatism of their village, find happiness, however briefly, in the arms and bed of the libidinous devil but he's got his own ulterior motives. Miller revels in the sensual display of sex, food and magic, whipping up a storm of effects that finally get out of hand in an overblown ending. It's a handsome film with strong performances all around but the mix of anarchic comedy and supernatural horror doesn't always gel and Miller seems to lose the plot in his zeal for cinematic excitement. The performances ultimately keep the film aloft: the hedonistic joy that Nicholson celebrates with every leering gaze and boorish vulgarity is almost enough to make bad form and chauvinism cool. --Sean Axmaker
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