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Stepmom (1998)
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
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Editorial Reviews: essential video
Though Stepmom was dismissed as a contender in the 1998 Oscar race, it's worth giving a second chance to this rather cogent, sharp-tongued look at second chances. Susan Sarandon's performance as a mom about to be replaced by her ex-husband's new girlfriend (played by Julia Roberts) has a lot of bite, and it's a shame the script opted to marginalize and trivialize her plight in its final reel. Initially, the rancor that passes between divorced mom Jackie (Sarandon) and trendy fashion photographer Isabel (Roberts) rings true, aided by the sincerity of Jackie's ex-husband Luke (Ed Harris) and the emotional plight of their children, who have the most to lose in their parents' divorce. As the drama makes clear, the kids are the real victims in the agony that ensues between old and new love.

Director Chris Columbus, who is adept at showing familial chaos (he directed Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone) with a sanitized minimum of lingering emotional damage, actually manages to dig a trifle deeper than usual in exploring the jealousy and hurt that occur when the baton is passed between a birth mom and the younger wife who steps into her shoes. Stepmom fortunately manages to touch on that chord--showing how an ambitious woman might feel hampered by the responsibility of children just because she's fallen in love with their dad--as well as the haunting grief that it causes their birth mom. It's an issue that haunts millions of second wives everywhere, and while Roberts conveys the confusion of being taken for granted in the melee that follows, it's Sarandon who walks off with the film. She's relentless in her fury, and everyone else in the film--the generally excellent Harris included--is sideswiped. It's just a shame that Hollywood once again wimps out in the end, solving the problem by giving Sarandon a terminal illness. Instead of allowing Jackie and Isabel's relationship to unfold on something less than a high note, the movie has to quell its best thing with a false payoff because it doesn't know what to do with real life. --Paula Nechak

Product Details
  • Starring: Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris
  • Director: Chris Columbus
  • Encoding: 1 (U.S. and Canada)
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 2, 2023
  • Running Time: 125
  • Language: English (Dubbed), English (Subtitled), English (Original Language)
  • ASIN: 0767821769
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 Based on 165 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 5990

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

3Reafirmando lazos familiares, Apr 29, 2023
Madres, padres, hijos, hermanos. Si normalmente las relaciones familiares no son fáciles de vivir, imaginemos un panorama que contenga divorcio, futura madrastra y una enfermedad mortal. Ciertamente no es un jardín de rosas.

Stepmom, es un intento del director Chris Columbus de explorar las posibles relaciones y sentimientos en una familia resquebrajada por un divorcio y la entrada a ésta de un nuevo miembro -la madrastra-.

Jackie y Luke son los padres de Anna y Ben, quienes comparten su vida entre la casa de mamá y el apartamento de Luke e Isabel, su novia. Isabel es una fotógrafa de modas, poco acostumbrada a las responsabilidades maternales. Una novata en tropiezos, como Jackie le recuerda siempre que puede.

Entre peleas y discusiones, los enfrentamientos entre ambas mujeres desfilan por la pantalla. Un giro emotivo hace que Jackie deba aceptar a Isabel y ayudarla a convertirse en una buena sustituta.

Susan Sarandon, como Jackie, entrega una actuación conmovedora; sus ojos, siempre llenos de emoción y centrados en la acción, dan más profundidad al film que el guión entero. Julia Roberts, en el rol de Isabel, se destaca admirablemente, pero Sarandon simplemente se roba el show. Ed Harris, como Luke, da el apoyo y balance perfecto para completar el complicado círculo. Los niños sorprenden con sus maduras interpretaciones.

Como una buena cinta de su género, posee ciertos toques de manipulación y grandes cantidades de drama. A su vez también provee realismo y madurez. Si la idea de pasar 2 horas derramando unas cuantas lágrimas es seductora, Stepmom es la opción, sin ninguna duda.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

5Sad but Happy, Mar 27, 2023
In this amazing film their is lots of details of sad and happiness, here are some examples sad:when the kids find out that their mom is dying.Happy:during Christmas when their mom gave them each a present she made herself.The stepmom feels very deprest in the beginning, and in the end she feels very good about herself. Anna starts out hating her stepmom and starts loving her very much more and more.The son seems to always love his stepmom, but I think he loved her much more than that.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

3Stepmom, Feb 7, 2023
Stepmom was a good drama film. I have seen this movie several times and it is still a tearjerker to me. It is a movie that has you laughing at some parts, but crying throughout most of it. The plot in this movie was continuous, there were not many dull moments. I find myself getting bored very quickly through movies, but I did not get bored in this movie, and I still don't after seeing in multiple times. The actors and actresses did a well job playing the roles of their characters. The children played their roles exceptionally well. Overall, Stepmom was a excellent drama that is a movie you should watch if you are in the mood for some laughs as well as some tears.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

1You've got to be joking - only Hollywood could sell this, Feb 6, 2023
Predictible, sob-story melodrama with a girlfriend agenda to boot! I'm surprised that Sarandon went anywhere near this, it's such a boring Hollywood take on the mom vs. younger girlfriend scenerio. Should be understood that this screenplay was originally written by real-life stepmom Gigi Levangie. I think Gigi had an agenda to push. For once I'd like to see Hollywood come out with a film that sings the praises of original moms, not younger-model girlfriends, and makes these original moms the attractive, healthy, mentally-sound very cool and sexy women they often are in real life. Let's give them the happy ending--they make the world go round! If you like soap opera drama-rama or you're a younger stepmom/girlfriend who wants justification and wants to demean the original mom/wife (I'm not an original mom or first wife, BTW, just an annoyed viewer), you'll think this is a great film. Otherwise, this is one to skip.

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

5Excellent, Oct 18, 2023
This was an excellent movie, perhaps a tad unrealistic, yet amazing and give The " DIVORCED " some hope.

Now, on to the viewers, that want to attack this movie and the actress' is so very sad, even if one doesn't like an actress; .... WELL...... Get over it, don't watch their movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly, to attack a movie and the acting (which was amazing) is so sad and pathetic. People with your harsh words, you should THINK Before you save your reviews. Readers may not know who you are, yet in you lonely and bitter reviews, you can see just how jaded you must truly be. It's sad, and ugly.

This is an amazing movie and extremely touching. People get divorced and they do die. Reality, coping and life. Great movie, even better acting. A must See!


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