by: James Ortiz
Everything you need to know in preparation for Heather Graham’s directorial debut, Half Magic, a sincere film about feminism and self-love…
The upcoming film Half Magic is being met with great deal off anticipation, and this is largely due to the fact that for the first time notable actress and producer Heather Graham’s skills as a screenwriter and director will be showcased. The film is billed a sex comedy, a genre familiar exceedingly to the actress, having starred in movies such as Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me and the Hangover series. However, Graham has hinted in several interviews that while the movie may been crafted to invoke laughs from the audiences, it also sets out to tackle serious issues, particularly where women are concerned. To prepare you for its release (February 23rd!), here are five key issues that Half Magic will bring under the spotlight.
Graham recently was the focus of increased media attention when she stepped forward as one of the women who experienced a traumatic encounter with the now infamous producer Harvey Weinstein. In fact, the actress admitted to Variety that Half Magic serves as her way of responding to the incident. Interestingly, a character that brings to mind Weinstein can be found in the film played by Chris D’Elia (Whitney, Undateable), who is the boss of Graham’s character, Honey. The trailer (below) shows that D’Elia’s character not only took advantage of Honey, he also looks down on her, both professionally and personally. The resolution of this matter is one of the most poignant aspects of the film.
Mainstream films and television shows often display women being catty towards each other, often for comedic effect. While these scenes are often written for the viewers’ amusement, they bring forth a notion that females are likely to secretly tear each other down rather than provide support for each other. Half Magic rallies against this idea by displaying women (played by Graham, Angela Kinsey, and Stephanie Beatriz) banding together to help their newfound friends. The Hollywood Reporter relayed that their relationships with each other was a sisterhood used “fight against sexism, bad relationships and low self-esteem.”
Graham has admitted that she feels frustration about how there are too few films focusing on female sexuality. She explained that the topic was too often portrayed from the point-of-view of men, making it difficult for women to relate. As a result, she made a movie in Half Magic about what she, as a woman, would want to see in films. In fact, the movie also tackles Graham’s Catholic upbringing and how it affected her views on sexuality. The actress has gone on record in interviews about how she has had to learn to become more open about sexuality because of how she was raised as a child, and this is reflected within Half Magic.
High Magic will also focus on equal opportunities in the workplace for women. Graham revealed that this angle is actually inspired by her own experiences in Hollywood. She is one of the most vocal celebrities in regards to the lack of female representation in filmmaking, saying that men, more often than not, are given more opportunities to work on the projects they are interested in. Graham told People Magazine that Half Magic is a representation of her own struggles as a woman working in the entertainment industry saying, “Everyone’s like, ‘If you want to get a movie made, write about a man.’ I put all these different things in my movie so I could laugh at it.” Graham went on to say in the interview that she hopes her film will serve as inspiration for more projects showcasing female voices. She also is calling for more women to take on directorial roles, given that seeing other female directors at work served as her motivation to try it herself.
Above all else, Half Magic is about self-love. IndieWire noted Graham’s intention of empowering women through Half Magic to become more confident about themselves and make better choices, professionally and personally. She described her film as her way of encouraging women to celebrate their strengths. All in all, Half Magic is a sincere film about feminism, which gets expressed in a fun and lighthearted manner. Certainly, Graham is a person qualified to deliver this powerful message in a relatable way, as she has proven time and again that she has the acting chops and comedic timing to pull it off. In fact, she recently brought smiles and laughs to the UK through her videos on Foxy Television, where she takes on the role of an anthropomorphic fox. However, her work in Half Magic takes things up a notch and addresses far more serious issues, further proving that she is a master of her craft and delivering an important message about women.
Through Half Magic, Graham could help pave the way for more women to explore avenues for their professional and personal development, even in arenas considered to be traditionally male-dominated.