Stepmom (1998)


“Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. ” – Jackie

Number of Times Seen – Twice (19 Jul 1999 and 1 Apr 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A mother must deal with the fact that her ex-husband is getting remarried and does all she can to not lose the love of her children during the transition.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing not long after it came out on video and waiting twenty years to rewatch it definitely allows me to see things from a very different perspective.

Having been through a divorce myself and getting remarried, I could understand and relate to the first half of this film quite well.

The problems begin when they decide to add a second conflict issue to the story since it completely changes the direction of things and unfortunately feels a bit too manipulative in trying to reach its goal.

The cast of this film is great and Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris all do really good jobs within the constraints of the characters they are given.

The film unfortunately fails to give more background information about the divorce and such information is very pertinent to the storyline.

It’s quite noticeable that this information is missing and it causes things to be seen from a very strange perspective since they don’t allow the emotional scars to be revealed because we don’t understand why these two people are no longer together.

This is a shame because it would let us explore things in a much more effective way if that information had revealed instead of it just hanging there.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that doesn’t work as well as it could have. The idea to mix together two kinds of conflicts over the course of the film causes a lot of problems because a film that starts off a certain way, quickly changes its direction and focus midway and it feels a bit too manipulative. The cast is great with Roberts, Sarandon and Harris all shining in their roles.  They unfortunately don’t give enough background as to the reasons for the divorce and that pertinent information to the plot is glaringly missing because without it, there can be an assumption that nothing caused this divorce because no deeper emotional issues are not explored enough here for it to be much more effective.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film was dedicated “In loving memory of Irene Columbus”, director Chris Columbus’s mother, who died of cancer the year before the movie was released. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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3 thoughts on “Stepmom (1998)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1998 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1998 | MovieRob

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