Three women swear off dating men that are bad for them in the all-too-relatable Half Magic. The new movie marks the directorial debut for Heather Graham — yes, that Heather Graham. Tired of all the sexism that rules Hollywood after three decades in the industry, Graham decided to write, direct, and star in her own film, and now we've got the exclusive Half Magic red band trailer to show off what she's done.
Half Magic follows Honey (Graham), a hardworking woman stuck at the mercy of her sexist boss, who she also occasionally hooks up with. Along with her girlfriends, played by Brooklyn Nine-Nine's (director: Linda Mendoza) Stephanie Beatriz and Angela Kinsey of The Office (writer: Jennifer Celotta), she decides to quit dating guys that are bad for her and focus on going after what she wants in life. Or as the official description reads, "Three women use their newly formed sisterhood to fight against sexism, bad relationships and low self-esteem."
The film also stars Thomas Lennon, Jason Lewis, and Molly Shannon — Graham wasn't messing around for her first time in the director's chair. And based on the trailer, fans can expect a celebration of female friendship mixed in with raunchy sex, funny relationship mishaps, and plenty of empowering moments.
If Half Magic looks like the movie we need in 2018, that's really because it is. After four months of sexual harassment and assault stories in the media, and a necessary reckoning for abusers in every industry, it's past time women get to escape the world for a few hours and be reminded of their joy and power in the world. That said, Half Magic isn't all sunny skies and puppies and roses. Graham, who wrote the movie following a breakup, promises a movie full of relatable struggles. In fact, she put a lot of her own dating life into the script. "You know when you've had enough time away from something you can look at it and go, 'That is hilarious. Why did I do that?' So I did that with some stories that I could relate to from myself and from my friends," she said in an interview with People.
Graham didn't just write Half Magic because she wanted something to relate to, she wanted to make a statement on sexism in Hollywood. In October, Graham added her voice to the chorus of women in Hollywood demanding change following the fallout from the countless sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. She alleged that Weinstein propositioned her in the early 2000s, attempting to trade a role in one of his films for sex. Speaking at a Women in Film panel in November, Graham spoke about her experience and revealed that Half Magic was, in part, a response to all the sexism she's seen in Hollywood. "My only recourse was writing and directing a movie about it because I thought it wouldn't change, but now it is," she said, via Variety.
Graham tackles sexual harassment in the film and critiques the lack of female perspectives behind the camera. In the film, her character, Honey, is a budding writer trying to get her voice heard in a room full of men. "One of the themes is a woman trying to make movies about women in Hollywood and how hard it is," Graham told People. After being told that movies about women don't get made, she decided to prove the powers that be wrong. "I tried to make a Triangle [Shirtwaist] Factory Fire film, but I was told women's stories like that can't get made," she said in an interview with Salon. "I made Half Magic as a reaction, trying to get that film made and tell stories about women."
With her new film, Graham is hoping to change Hollywood from the inside out, and 2018 is the perfect year to do it. Half Magic hits theaters on Feb. 23, so get ready for a super fun post-Valentine's Day girls night at the movies.