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Stepmom tells you the story of an American marriage that loses its spark with time and the man seeks love outside of it. This sensitive film deals with how the family handles the delicate situation --- at times, holding out bravely ... and at other times, buckling under the emotional trauma ! The other woman, very ably portrayed by Julia Roberts, is a genuinely good human being who tries to bond with her lovers' kids inspite of their mother's (and their own) initial bitterness towards her. The plot thickens when the mother of the kids, portrayed with finesse by Susan Sarandon, is found to have cancer. The mother's days in the world are now numbered and the family must learn to carry on without her ... ! Stepmom now paints a warm and endearing picture of how the members of this family reconcile their differences and stand united and strong in the face of this crisis.
It would be UNFAIR if I rated this one anything less than 9 ... !
If you are someone that likes to cry, and cry. Watch it. Is one of the sweetes movie ever, talking about peoples feelings, fears, and happynes. Great!
It's the story of a husband and wife with two kids who have fallen out of love, and now the father is getting married to a new, younger woman. The mother of the kids does everything she can to make her children hate this woman who is going to very soon be a permanent part of their life.
Julia Roberts indeed gives a fine performance as the fiancée of Ed Harris, the husband. She steals your heart in every scene she's in as this young woman who is trying so hard to be exactly what those children want and need. And in the end, she's searching for acceptance and love from them as much as they are from her. And then there's Susan Sarandon, giving one of her best performances as the mother of the children who wants nothing more than to remove her children from The younger woman completely. Sarandon's character is horrible- one of the most awful and hateful people in modern movies. She backstabs, she's overly-critical, and for a long time, she finds every chance possible to turn her children against the other woman- yet you cannot help but feel for her. As nasty as she is, you sympathize with this woman who is having to deal with her children being in the care of a younger, inexperienced woman who is living with her ex-husband. It's impossible not to understand her character's mourning and confusion. For the first time in her life, this woman is not the only mother in her children's life.
Don't be surprised if you cry- more than once. It's that good, and that affecting. Truly, this film is one of the better delights of the past few years. Beautiful story, great performances, real emotions- 8/10 stars!
The film has a beautiful story, a story about a divorced couple, their children and the Stepmom. The film explains the worth of a family... it surely leaves a great moral behind. The climax is superb, it gets you moist-eyed.
Performance-wise: Ed Harris is Incredible, as ever. He steals the show in a small, but significant role. Julia Roberts is fantastic as the Stepmom. Susan Sarandon needs to mentioning, she's a class apart. Liam Aiken & Jena Malone, the kids, stand out.
On the whole 'Stepmom' is a must watch for each and every cine-lover.
Too many questions, pretty house - pretty topical stuff but too many selfish adults in one movie to make any sense.
Ed Harris is great as the father, though his role is smaller. The two children are spot on. But what really drives this film are the portrayals of the mother by Susan Sarandon and the stepmother by Julia Roberts.
This film is about universal truths: Life has its ups and downs. Love has its ups and downs. Some of the strongest familial bonds are forged from needing. And when you really love someone, there is no wrong way to do it.
The story traces the progress between the mom and the stepmom--two women who have to face their fears of a new family dynamic. The mother was there for all the tender moments, all the wounds and all the memories. The stepmom is the "cool" one who knows the lyrics to all the songs and is current with today's fashions. To become a whole family, the mother must overcome her fear of being replaced and the stepmother must overcome her fear of comparison with an irreplaceable mother.
This is a tearjerker. The resolution goes far beyond the daily struggles of a family rent by divorce. Well worth seeing.
I guess the screenwriter really expects us to swallow this. Sure, yeah, the REAL tragedy is that the new trophy wife will lack confidence. Come on Mom, quit feeling sorry for yourself! Cancer, chemo, and death before your children hit puberty -- well, that's nothing compared to the suffering Julia Roberts is going to face.
Wish I could get the two hours I wasted on this movie back.
I know I sound like a terrible cynic for judging this film in this way (I am a terrible cynic, let's not deny it), but it's difficult to swallow this tripe. I come from a - dare I use that devilish phrase - broken home myself and in fact my old man is getting remarried very soon, but I still fail to see any resemblance between Chris Columbus' vision of family harmonics and the interpersonal dynamics that exist here on Earth. And by that I refer both to the grating, fire-and-brimstone conflict at the beginning of the film and the sugary hug fest into which it slowly descends as it progresses.
There is however, nothing inherently wrong with sugary, optimistic scenarios; if they are grounded, well-driven, well-plotted explorations of discovering the light at the end of the tunnel. It's hard for me to put my finger on a perfect example but the most obvious one would have to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has nevertheless received a certain quantity of criticism from yours truly for drawing too distinct a line between "good" and "bad". In spite of that trilogy's shortcomings though, it's a good example of a golden-sunshine-lollipops conclusion that is plodded out solidly over a long arduous journey of storytelling.
Chris Columbus here dispenses with any nuance of hard work, or respect for his audience's intelligence, and dishes up a glib, emotionally manipulative treat for us to wolf down hungrily, starved for happy endings in our cinematic universe of chainsaw massacres and David Lynch.
There really isn't a saving grace to this film, as far as I can see: Its lack of realism obviously renders me incapable of truly appreciating whatever fine qualities it may have, but the dialogue is dull, performances are average and being such a suburban story, there really isn't much room for technical film-making brilliance. On top of this, every single time I think back on it I get "Ain't no Mountain High Enough" stuck interminably in my head, and that, more than anything else, is unforgivable.
I got to see "Step Mom" on the way back, too. Thanks, "Peter Pan"!
Julia Roberts strikes again! Basically, this film is a big ol' sticky wad of total melodrama about a bunch of snobby, spoiled rich people throwing tantrums whenever they don't get their own way. It's supposed to teach the audience something about growing up and bonding with stepparents and coping with divorce and terminal illness and a whole slew of other things, but in the end it's just stupid, contrived and stereotypical. All three of the female characters (Jackie, Isobel and Anna) are self-absorbed, rude and manipulative and the younger child (I forget his name) is supposed to be all cute and handsome and charismatic and blah-de-blah but instead he quickly becomes annoying. Anyway, the plot basically goes round and round in circles for the first forty-five minutes and then the writers realized that it wasn't going anywhere and decided to deal the Tearjerking Terminal Illness(tm) card just to wrap it up. So they have Susan Sarandon's character get cancer, resulting in a half-million Heartwrenching Goodbye Sequences(tm) which ultimately bring the family closer together. I have a lot of respect for many of the actors in this film, but in all honesty, the film itself was way too cheesy for me to stomach (no pun intended). If you're a big fan of any of the actors, it's probably worth it, though.
When I stumble across a film like this, I wonder about the genre engineering that went into it.
`Let's see,' I can imagine the discussion: `a standard sickness/death movie but this time the redemption will be tied to making piece with a divorce. That gives us a chance to do lots of minidramas involving the children and the father's new lover.'
Nodding heads all around. But the one person in the room who thinks expresses concern that no one will come to such a film despite the attractive demographic engineering. This person suggests that the girlfriend be a parallel center of the film, that they get an endearing draw, like Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan. This way, the relentless drama can be balanced by cuteness and comedy. In due course, the group agrees on splitting the film, essentially divorcing the two threads: death and charm.
The two kids have to be split too: one to be serious (with some minidrama in her own life) and one to be comic, pulling all sorts of enchanting pranks.
We end up with a blended film from blended genres about a blended family. It works about as well as your average blended family.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
If you are a staunch Julia Roberts fan you may appreciate her portrayal of the unquestioning Isabel but are not likely to enjoy the abuse her character must endure.
Let's just say this movie is the one that has moved me and made me cry the most in my whole life. Well, moved me in a sad way.
I don't know what kind of ability Susan Sarandon's got, but all she did in this movie made me cry. She's such a good actress, and this movie suits her perfectly.
I've never been much of a Julia Roberts' fan, considering i find Notting Hill and pretty woman kind of boring, but i loved her in this movie, how she really tries to bond with the kids and Susan to get to the point where the kids almost rather being with her than with their mom. Julia gives her best, in my opinion, she is a very good actress as well. Drama suits her.
The kids are the other thing that gives movie that amazing flavor. How the girl answer to Susan, Julia and her dad is just so sad and good. Klaus Baudelaire's actor is so small and great as the little kid, who knows enough of the situation and gives the movie it's nice and happy moment.
I didn't think the husband was anything important.
And, of course, what makes this movie as sad and as great as it is, is the incredible directing of Chris Columbus, who directed two of the movies of my favorite movie series and book series: Harry Potter. I don't know why, but he's just got this gift for directing. Oh god, when i saw it i didn't know it was Columbus', and when i realized i now know why it's great.
Some may say it's melodramatic, but i wouldn't agree. It's just good drama, one of those were you can't stop crying but that has a good plot involved as well.
Bottom line, loved it. Very enjoyable and i recommend it highly. Good job Columbus, as usual.
The only characters I didn't want to punch and stab were the little boy and the future step mom: the dad was nonexistent and couldn't even try to hold his own against his mega-bitch of an ex-wife; the daughter was a whiny, lying, rude brat who YET AGAIN perpetuates the "Daddy's little girl who HATES every attractive woman next to him because Mommy Said So" stereotype; and Susan Sarandon's mom chara was one of the most overbearing, spiteful, misogynistic mother charas I've ever seen, who spoils her babies rotten to the point of making them completely detached from reality while practically abusing the unfortunate girl who's gonna "replace" her when she's gone, just because she commits the sin of being prettier, younger and with a modern mindset. And I'm supposed to feel sorry for her when she finally kicks the bucket, after all she has made others go through?
Not even great actors like Sarandon, Harris and Roberts can save this pile of manipulative, cloying, fake, pseudo-deep crap.
Look to the horizon. It is void of RIDERS.