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Stepmom (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 December 1998 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 41,049 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 250 user | 63 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A terminally ill mother has to settle on the new woman in her former husband's life who will be their stepmother.

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(story), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Stepmom (1998)

Stepmom (1998) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. P. Sweikert
Darrell Larson ...
Duncan Samuels
Mary Louise Wilson ...
Mrs. Franklin
...
Cooper (as Andre Blake)
...
Photo Assistant (as Russel Harper)
Jack Eagle ...
Craft Service Man
Lu Celania Sierra ...
Photo Shoot Model
Lauma Zemzare ...
Photo Shoot Model
Holly Schenck ...
Photo Shoot Model
Michelle Stone ...
Photo Shoot Model
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Storyline

Anna and Ben, the two children of Jackie and Luke, have to cope with the fact that their parents divorced and that there is a new woman in their father's life: Isabel, a successful photographer. She does her best to treat the kids in a way that makes them still feel at home when being with their dad, but also loves her work and does not plan to give it up. But Jackie, a full-time mother, regards Isabel's efforts as offensively insufficient. She can't understand that work can be important to her as well as the kids. The conflict between them is deepened by the sudden diagnose of cancer, which might may be deadly for Jackie. They all have to learn a little in order to grow together. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be there for the joy. Be there for the tears. Be there for each other.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Class Divided  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£631,161 (UK) (29 January 1999)

Gross:

$91,030,827 (USA) (23 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was dedicated "In loving memory of Irene Columbus", director Chris Columbus's mother, who in the year before the movie was released had died of cancer, a similar circumstance to one of the main characters in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Ben surprises Isabel by hiding inside the kitchen cabinets. However, in the next shot of the open cabinets you can see clearly that there was no space for him to fit inside. See more »

Quotes

Ben Harrison: [on the phone with Jackie] And you wish that you were here making me spaghetti...
[whispering]
Ben Harrison: so I don't have to eat dad's yucky lamb chops.
See more »

Connections

References Mission: Impossible (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Love
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by The Supremes
Courtesy of Motown Record Company LP
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film and TV Music
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User Reviews

A good film.
9 February 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Stepmom" isn't a comedy. It's an emotional drama, although you would easily be forgiven for thinking otherwise. After all, the advertisments and trailers give the impression that it's a romantic comedy, whilst the fact that the picture is directed by Chris Columbus ("Nine Months") emphasises that reading all the more. However whilst this is definitely an emotional, tear-jerking drama, there is the odd comic moment in it, mostly provided by young Liam Aiken as Sarandon's youngest child; a wannabe magician (Who, incidentially, looks like a thug in the making:- A miniture version of Telly from "Kids!").

Anyway, "Stepmom" is a decent movie, partially because Susan Sarandon is so brilliant. Whenever she's on screen, she dominates everything, and is completely convincing. The film also takes an independent viewpoint of its characters; a definite plus. Rather than encouraging us to like or dislike a certain character, we had balanced screen-time and view-points of both. Therefore, whilst we're encouraged to like and relate to Jackie, we also despise her frequently; she's often petty, spiteful and downright nasty for seemingly no reason. The same applies to Julia Robert's character, whom, although we like and dislike in equal amounts, isn't quite as interesting as Sarandon. Ed Harris, is, as usual, superb, although there isn't much chemistry between himself and Roberts, maybe because of the obvious age difference.

Where "Stepmom" goes wrong is in the way so many Hollywood films do - It never really cuts to the issue in question. This is a film about a mental battle between two independent women, but it's also about tragedy and its consequences. It's here the film seems to falter, a bit like the themes of AIDS and homosexuality in "Philadelphia." It's much too soft round the edges for its own good, resulting in a movie that, whilst touching, sad and emotional, still lacks a little maturity.

Whilst the movie avoids the all-too conventional ending (You'll see what I mean when you view the picture), we come away liking the film, but wanting just a little more.


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