Review: Stepmom (1998)

Director: Chris Columbus | 124 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Liam Aiken, Lynn Whitfield, Darrell Larson, Mary Louise Wilson, Andre B. Blake, Russel Harper, Jack Eagle, Lu Celania Sierra, Lauma Zemzare, Holy Schenck, Michelle Stone

Chris Columbus (known for the first two Harry Potter films) has made an excellent choice to have Julia Roberts play Isabel in “Stepmom”. Without the appearance of Hollywood’s Golden Girl, this movie would be a lot less fun. She knows how to paint a striking picture of a self-confident career woman who has no children of her own, and has always been accountable only to herself. Luke’s children are included in the relationship, and she visibly struggles with that. On the other hand, Susan Sarandon is great as the exasperated ex-wife who can’t stomach her husband leaving her for a younger and good-looking woman. Envy just splashes off the screen. Eventually they are forced to look at everything from a different angle and to put themselves together when it turns out that Jackie does not have much longer to live. They even become friends.

“Stepmom” is great entertainment for a cold winter evening, with your legs and a blanket on the couch. Still, the story here and there is unbelievable, but that’s Hollywood. It is very unfortunate that the illness process of Jackie is not taken into account, but that it mainly looks at how the children and the other characters are busy preparing for a new life without her. In addition, the makers were somewhat confused, because where the film is a real drama on the one hand, it also tends to a comedy on certain points. The casting is also clearly adapted to this, clearly visible in the two children: Jena Malone as the serious adolescent daughter, Liam Aiken as the comical son, who is constantly playing funny tricks. Acting game of stature by these two young actors. Furthermore, of course also a true star cast.

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