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‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Is Wall-to-Wall Vibes

The gender politics are weird but the aesthetics are real good.

The cast of The Witches of Eastwick. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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It almost doesn’t make sense that we don’t talk about The Witches of Eastwick all the time. The 30-year-old film seems uncannily 2017, containing a little of everything you’d see on an upstart pin brand’s Instagram: a throwaway mention of zucchini jelly, a quaint New England town, a trio of iconic actresses (Susan Sarandon, Cher, and Michelle Pfeiffer), polyamory, pool floats shaped like animals, long discussions about the way dudes keep women down, a highly stylized mansion, a debaucherous party scene filled with millennial pink balloons, and — obviously, but it bears repeating — witches.

All that, plus it contains every single trend happening at this very moment: boxy button-downs, crop tops, menocore-y natural fabrics, high-waisted pants, a visor worn over so much curly hair, overalls, dark florals, and that familiar shade of light red.

But it does make sense you don’t hear about this 1987 movie a lot, because it would likely bore, baffle, and annoy exactly the people drawn in by the strong visuals and promise of hexes.

The Witches of Eastwick is about three women who don’t realize they’re a coven until they meet a man who might be the Devil (but doesn’t seem all that powerful, all things considered), so the gender politics are something in between a man’s idea of feminism and a man’s fantasy about an all-witch harem.

It’s hard to recommend, and I am not. But also: Travel with me through this devastatingly good aesthetic.

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.

The centerpiece of the film is a longish, basically dialogue-free scene where the women all dance through balloons on rolling pianos with a nebulous sex demon. Susan Sarandon and Cher are decked out in eveningwear, but Michelle Pfeiffer wears embroidered pajamas, sneakers, and a porkpie hat; in the beginning of the scene, Pfeiffer’s six daughters are there, and then they’re just not? Then Sarandon goes hurtling from a rolling piano onto a chandelier and all three witches can suddenly fly, which is probably a metaphor for orgasm.

(This movie was a big hit in the 1980s; your parents likely had a date night to see it!)

But it looks awesome. Anyway, let’s focus on Cher.

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photos: Warner Bros.

As Alex, a sculptress and widow, Cher owns dark florals and crop tops, making her almost eerily on-trend, until you remember these items were in style before and trends are cyclical and nothing is new. Cool tops, though! (And a nod to Sarandon’s shapeless tan dress in the last shot.)

Speaking of Sarandon’s Jane, she goes through the film’s only fashion transformation. She starts out here, in a striped jumper we can assume is supposed to be bad but would look amazing on that girl you know who grows all her own herbs and always seems calm:

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.

And ends up, uhhhhhh, here:

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.

How? Yes, the answer IS sex with Jack Nicholson, thank you for asking. The above outfit might be a dress and it might be a bathing suit, but it is unquestionably fun and also there’s a visor. The fun continues for Jane:

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photos: Warner Bros.

She teaches music class with such passion and such clashing patterns that a man runs away in fear! She goes to the supermarket in peep-toe heels with socks and no bra and eats pickles in the aisle! She serves Jessica Rabbit as a pool float drifts by! She is living life! Could anyone get more 2017?

Sure could. SURE. COULD.

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photos: Warner Bros.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Sukie is a single mother of six kids and also a newspaper columnist who makes her own jelly. You’d do her work look: tied-off pink button-down, mint green natural fiber pants, white blazer, clear-framed glasses. You’d also cop her loungewear, which is so good I had to write the word “cop.” Or perhaps you’d prefer her “just visiting my boss’s wife in the hospital” ensemble of gingham dress, woven purse, no-makeup makeup, and matching wall and flowers. Fair enough! On that one, I might have accidentally mixed in a pic from an influencer.

And bonus: Veronica Cartwright’s character, Lady Who Hates Witches But Is Right About Jack Nicholson. Even though she’s supposed to be uptight, she has some great florals of her own:

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.
Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.

And finally, let’s all pause to admit we’d wear Nicholson’s robe here, and then cringe because he says “pussy” in this scene in a way that’s definitely more fun for him than for you. Again, no one is actually recommending this movie.

Scene from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ Photo: Warner Bros.

In conclusion, this film should be, and likely is, played silently in the back of a reasonably cool bar. Bonus: If you want to look cute and wear your own clothes (or use the holiday as an excuse to finally get into crop tops), anything here would make a good lazy Halloween costume.