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Stepmom (DVD)

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Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 1998 / Director: Chris Columbus / Actors: Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon ... / DVD released 04 April, 2005 at Uca Catalogue / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen

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    13 Reviews
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      29.09.2012 20:19

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      Heart warming and life affirming with funny moments.

      Starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts, Stepmom is an emotional roller coaster of a film that has been one of my favourites since I watched it with my mum when I was little.

      The 'stepmom' in question is Isabelle, (Julia Roberts) engaged to Luke and at war with his two kids Anna and Ben and ex-wife Jackie (Susan Sarandon) none of whom can stand her. The fact that the opening scene is her hitting the ground running with Queen's 'pressure' thumping in the background, says it all! To begin with Jackie is up for the fight but the situation changes when she is diagnosed with cancer. She is forced to accept that she will not be around forever and that the kids will be left with Luke and Isabelle. She has to help them bury the hatchet so that when her time is up, they are left with a secure family unit and not stuck in war zone.

      Although It would have been very easy for this film to feel heavy and depressing, and it is certainly sad, It is an incredibly moving story with funny moments and a very believable, well acted family set up. The strength with which Jackie deals with the fact that she does not have much time left and has to leave her kids has never left me and when Isabelle says teary eyed that her worst fear is that Anna, on her wedding day will turn around and say 'I wish my mum was here' is one scene that I can never get through without crying. Timeless, to me this movie never gets old.

      Grab the tissues!

      You'll remember always, always.

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      25.07.2012 23:42
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      You'll need at least one tissue to watch this one.

      I recently watched this as part of my lovefilm package. You are encouraged to keep a long list of films that you want to watch to keep the films being sent to you regualarly, and I must have decided that this looked ok. I don't particularly remember adding it, so it might have been a suggestion for me as I am fond of films starring Julia Roberts and I quite like the other main star, Susan Sarandon. They are both strong actors and likeable, so although the plot of the film is a bit predicatable I was fairly sure that I would get some enjoyment out of watching this.

      The plot of the film is a fairly every day and simple scenario. Susan Sarandon (Jackie Harrison) is seperated from her husband Luke (played by Ed Harris). He has moved on with his life, starting a new serious relationship with Isabel Kelly (played by Roberts) much to the disgust of his children Ben and Anna.

      The film starts particularly predictably. The children do not Isabel because she is not their mother. Isabel is not a naturally maternal person and she lets them down by being a bit unreliable and doing silly things like losing Ben on a day trip, and forgetting to wash Anna's top she wants to wear. Isabel is trying hard, but she will never be their mother, and secretly the children would prefer their parents to get back together.

      Events change a bit though when Jackie is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she starts to become a bit unreliable for the children herself, and she starts to need Isabel to be the one picking the children up and taking them places for her. Jackie keeps the cancer to herself for a while until Isabel discovers her secret.

      The film then takes a bit of a Hollywood saccharin approach with the women becoming more friendly to each other, and the children coming to treat Isabel as a friend/older sister rather than the horrible attitude she got from them before hand. They are almost one big happy family.

      What makes this film stand out a bit even though the plot is just that bit predictable is that you can't help but like the women characters played by Roberts and Sarandon. Who can fail to like Roberts when she does that big cheesy grin so well?

      The children (played by Jena Malone and Liam Aiken) are both good actors who do not falter even with the more emotional scenes. You could fully believe the characters being portrayed. Even when playing brats, they managed to portray they were deep down good kids.

      I felt that this film had a lot going for it, from the cool character that Roberts played which allowed Sarandon's character to be less uptight and bond with her children more in this very difficult time. I had a few little chuckles at silly things like Isabel letting Anna mess around wearing make-up which her mum Jackie then used as ammunition against Isabel, or the magic tricks performed by little Ben, and the sing alongs had in the car to pop songs.

      I also found myself grabbing a tissue when the two women were discussing what would happen with the children after Jackie's death. These two actresses are well versed in how to play weepie moments. After all, who can forget Roberts in Steel Magnolias. It might have been a long time ago, but I still remember clearly how moved I was.

      This is definitely a chick flick. My husband had no interest at all in watching this with me once I told him what it was about, and he would have been bored to tears. I have to say, if the acting and casting hadn't been as it was, for example if it were unknown actresses playing Isabel and Jackie, I perhaps would have been less interested myself, but as it stands, this was a fine film, which amused me for its full 124 minute run time. I was even thinking to myself, oh, it's finished already?

      It's what I would call a fluff film. There is no real purpose to watching it other than entertaining me, which it did, so I am happy to give this 4 stars.

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        12.01.2011 07:57
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        A famiilies dynamics are changed with the arrival of Step mom Isabel

        FILM ONLY REVIEW

        Isabel Kelly is in love with Luke, an older man who has been married before and has two children. Unfortunately the children do not like her in their fathers life and make things hard for her. Luke is trying his best to make everyone get along but it is soon apparent that his ex-wife Jackie is also not happy with Isabel so makes it even harder for the children to get on with her.

        Isabel finally gets chance to prove herself to Jackie by looking after the children Anna and Ben for a weekend but things go wrong and Isabel is left feeling awful. Soon Jackie learns she has cancer so has no choice to lean of Isabel a little to have the children more but can she get over the fear of Isabel being a second mother to her children to make things work and just how long can she keep her illness a secret?

        The deciding factor for me to watch this film was that it starred Julia Roberts and I always enjoy her films, she manages to help the story and really bring it to life and this film was no exception. I loved the storyline, despite it being sad at times and felt that t was very true to life and happening every day to another family. I felt that the subject matter of the illness was handled very well and not overly played to detract from the main story. The story was also helped and made more enjoyable and engaging by the fact we had some very good actors.

        The lead role of Isabel was played by Julie Roberts and she was excellent, she made her character so interesting and easy to get to know and I felt she showed just enough emotion at the start of the film to be able to leave me wondering just why she was not able to connect with the children and become their friend. As the story moved on though we did get so see her soften and become more friendly to the children and focus less on her job. There was a good chemistry between her and Luck and they did not seem to be forcing their relationship and seemed very natural with each other. Luck was played by Ed Harris and he was also a very good character, he showed strength and weakness throughout the film and I liked the way he was able to play to both sides of the character. He seemed to have a lovely bond with his children and this came across well on screen.

        A character which I had mixed feelings for was that of Jackie, she seemed very hard and quite nasty at the start of the film although she did mellow as the story progressed, I felt she was not doing the right thing by slagging of Isabel in front of her children and thought she was making their lives harder. She was played by Susan Sarandon and I thought she did a marvellous job with what she was given to work with. She managed to show and portray her illness very well and I was pleased with the way she chose to handle it. She too had a good bond with on screen children who were played by Jena Malone and Liam Aiken.

        The issues raised in the story were all handled very well and with great sensitivity and towards the end of the film it did actually move me to tears, I was feeling quite emotional all through the second half of the film but for some reason the ending hit home as it am also a mother and really dread anything like this even having to be done by myself. It was acted to perfection and did make for some very gripping and powerful scenes.

        The film was set in the modern day America so no real effort was needed for the props, sets or costumes. The film was actually made back in 1998 and this is noticeable from the clothes and state of the art technology which is used, the film does not look date though and it still very enjoyable to watch. There is no action in the film so special effects were needed and I think it would have spoilt the film completely if any would have been added. The music was good throughout and really helped with the telling of the story and setting the emotional scene. I would not personally go out and buy the soundtrack but it suited the film perfectly.

        This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 124 minutes and I found this to be a great length with the story moving at a steady pace throughout. The rate is a 12 and personally I do agree with this as there is no violence or swearing involved but due to the subject matter I would advise caution to letting 12 year olds watch this as it is sad in places. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds in most DVD shops and on line, it is shown on the TV quite a lot thought so try to catch it for free.


        I am happy to recommend this film and give it a good strong 4 stars. The acting is excellent and the story is quite moving and powerful. I thoroughly enjoyed this film apart from the last 15 minutes when it reduced me to tears!

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          20.04.2010 12:31
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          A fantastic film from Julia Roberts & Susan Sarandon.

          Film Only Review.

          Plot: Stepmom is a drama which is based around Luke (Ed Harris) his ex wife Jackie (Susan Sarandon) their children Anna (Jena Malone) and Ben (Liam Aiken) and Luke's new girlfriend Isabel (Julia Roberts). Susan & Isabel are locking heads over being the person who looks after the children and the kind of care that they are given. The story mainly certains around the relationship of Luke & Isabel and how it makes Luke's children feel before the plot changes when Jackie becomes ill with cancer and has to take her hands of the reigns a little bit to let Luke & Isabel help her. Jackie blames Isabel for the break up of her marriage but it does seem like this was inevitable really and Isabel did not meet Luke until after his divorce was completed.

          Opinion: The characters in this story are all very strong willed and the acting is fantastic. There is lots of emotion to the storyline and I love some of the witty one liners that are flung around between Isabel & Jackie and Isabel & Anna. At times I began to feel empathetic towards Isabel as she was blamed for everything and was treated in quite a bad way by Jackie & the children. Jackie later shows a different side to herself when you come to realise that she just wants to do what is best by her children whilst pretending that she is not suffering with cancer and she wants to know that her children are going to be looked after if the worse happens.

          Isabel is a fantastic character and she is funny, witty whilst being level headed enough to try and deqal with everything that is thrown at her while she just wants to be happy with Luke and have a happy future with him and his children. I don't feel like her character is particularly bothered at times but then at other times she lets her guard down and I really can sympathise with how things are in life when you try to pretend that things aren't affecting you but deep down you are really hurting about the whole thing.

          The children are very good in this film as they have enough emotion that you would expect from children that are living in this toxic atmosphere and Anna in particularly is fantastically well played with a typical 12 year old being portrayed with lots of tears and tantrums as well as blowing hot and cold with her Dads new girlfriend.

          There are lots of lovely moments in this film and at times I found myself close to tears as I really related with the characters towards the end of the film and I could naturally assume where the end of the film was going to end up. It was great to see some of the special moments between Jackie and her children and very interesting watching Isabel trying to get the children to warm to her and win over their affections.

          Luke was the character that was not particularly well involved in this film as while he was there in the background quite a lot he did provide good background to the story and naturally it was because of his character that the story had panned out in some of the ways that it did due to his break up with Jackie.

          The storyline was very interesting for me as I could relate to this and I am sure that in modern society there are quite a few adults and children that could relate to a storyline like this. There are some very sad moments to the film and some moments that will make you laugh out loud. There is lots of interesting parts of this film and while it is a little slow at the beginning to build up overall I love this film and I have now seen it about 5 or 6 times and haven't tired of watching it once. There is usually something different every time I watch it that sticks in my mind and while this film is over 10 years old and looks a little dated in places it's the kind of film that is still going to be around for quite a few years to come.

          The quality of the acting and the storyline is very high and this film is thoroughly enjoyable even though it has sad undertones running throughout. I could happily watch this film again in a few weeks time as the storyline is very interesting and this is a firm 5/5 from me.

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            06.02.2010 18:18
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            how two woman clash, but then have to put their differences aside when tragedy strikes

            ***Film Only Review***

            Stepmom (1998) is a wonderful, emotional rollercoaster of a film that I absolutely love. Maybe it is the fact that I can relate to one of the characters in a way and it made me look at things from a different perspective. It stars Susan Sarandon as the ex wife, Julia Roberts as the 'soon to be' stepmom and Ed Harris as the man in the middle of them both. The two child stars are Jena Malone and Liam Aiken who play Sarandon and Harris' children 12 year old Anna and 7 year old Ben.


            ~~The Story~~

            Jackie (Sarandon) and Luke (Harris) are a divorced couple with two children Anna and Ben and are trying very hard to make it as easy as possible for them to deal with the separation. Along comes Isabel (Roberts) as the much younger new model in Luke's life and it's very difficult for the rest of the family to come to terms with that he has a new woman in his life. Jackie is very hostile towards her as she is everything she is not - a career woman doing professional photography, young and still got her looks. She doesn't understand that this woman can put her career ahead of her family (we could go on about the debate of stay at home mums versus working mums!) On the other hand Isabel is in awe of how good a mother Jackie is and worries that she won't be up to scratch to do the same. Anna is also unfriendly to her as no-one can replace her mum. Through all Isabel's efforts she cannot get through to the children that she doesn't want to replace their mum but to just become a part of their father's life.
            Through all the upset another tragedy strikes the family and even though they clash completely Jackie must try and trust the woman she blames for her broken marriage.


            ~~My Opinion~~

            Whilst watching this I can totally empathise with Jackie's character as I myself have had to deal with my children having a new step mum. I can relate to the hurt and anger that she feels when she sees this fresh new woman being a part of her children's life and she plays the character extremely well. On the other hand watching Roberts play her part of the other woman who is trying so hard to be liked by everyone because she loves this man is wonderful. She doesn't come across as you would expect the 'other woman' to be, instead she is very sympathetic to the children, loving and understanding to their mother. She plays the part extremely well and I think the casting of this film is absolutely perfect. The two strong minded woman clash and then as it moves along you can really feel the emotions between them. You begin to see the point of view of the other characters that you wouldn't normally relate to and also you are shown how the children are affected by the adult's behaviour. They play rings around Isabel at first and their acting is superb, I love little Ben in this movie, and you can just feel how he loves his mum so much and doesn't want to her by liking his dad's new woman. It makes me feel guilty that I cringe when my kids talk about their dad's new woman and sometimes they do stop themselves from saying something that might hurt me if they have had a good time with her.
            Luke the father is almost forgotten about in my mind as the film is very strongly based on the two women's controversy and the children's relationships with each of them. The change in the storyline that changes everyone's perspective on things is an eye-opener in that the moral of the story just goes to show you that whilst arguing over petty little things there are more important things in life. Ok so your family is not what is used to be but things have moved on and whilst you may not like it, in the bigger scale of things you really should be worrying about more imperative life changing things. Jackie must learn to let Isabel in, and in turn the children will then see it is ok to like her too.

            Ok so there are parts of the film that are clichéd and some of you may find it a bit sickly to watch but for an old softy like me who will admit that I did cry in parts of this film it is a definite winner.

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              29.10.2009 10:17
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              5 stars

              Anna and Ben are the two children of Jackie and Luke, who have recently seperated and divorced. Anna is fast approaching her teens and taking the split badly, while Ben seems happy to carry on as he is being a mischievous little terror. Luke (played by Ed Harris) has recently moved in his new partner Isabel (Julia Roberts), who has a fast paced career as a successful photographer. She is struggling to cope with Anna and Ben when they come to stay and in the opening scenes of the film, manages to loose Ben altogether in the house. In steps mother earth Jackie, who resents Isabel for stepping in to her shoes, and constantly puts Isabel down.

              Isabel tries her best with Anna and Ben, but with Anna and Jackie determined not to welcome her, she has her work cut out. Cue the usual 'Your not my mum' line. In comparison to Jackie, Isabel has her work cut out, as Jackie is a full time mum, whereas Isabel has never had children, and still has her career to think about so is always turning up late, forgetting things, etc, which just makes Jackie and Anna resent her even more.

              I found the characters in this film a strange one, as you really feel for Jackie (played by Susan Sarandon), as she obviously still loves Luke and she has to watch him playing happy families with her children and a new woman, but at the same time, she behaves horrendously with Isabel. On the other hand, Isabel is a lovely character, fun, and determined to carry on, but then she really just cannot seem to get it right with the kids.

              As you would expect from a film like this, they slowly start to warm to her, but with many obstacle along the way from Jackie it's not an easy ride.

              Luke is not really in the film as much as I would expect, but Ed Balls gets the character down to a tea, as the poor guy who just wants peace in his life, and for all of his family including Jackie to get along.

              A few comedy moments throughout, such as when Isabel is teaching Anna how to get one up on the boy who has just dumped her. More tears than laughter I thought though, and by the end of the film I was roaring like a baby!


              I had recorded this from when it was on a month or so ago, and I really wasn't that bothered for watching it, but after seeing it now, I would say it is one of my favourite girly films for a long time, and I would certainly recommend watching it.

              Release date: 29 January 1999
              Director: Chris Columbus
              Nominated for a Golden Globe in 1999
              Run Time: 124 minutes
              Amazon: £2.99 inc postage

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                28.10.2009 11:07
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                A must-see.

                Divorces are always hard, especially when children are involved; this is the basic scenario for Stepmom and judging by the title you can pretty much guess the premise. Jackie (Susan Sarandon) and Luke (Ed Harris) are a divorced couple with two children, Anna who's 12 and Ben who's 6.

                When Luke starts dating Isabel (Julia Roberts) who is several years his junior it manages to rock the boat with his children and his ex wife even more, however Isabel who is serious about her relationship with Luke desperately wants to bond with the children and when Luke proposes it's even more important as she's going to be their future Stepmom. Isabel finds that it's going to be just as difficult to get Jackie on side as the two women are stark contrasts of each other but when an impending tragedy rears it's head it forces the whole family to pull together...

                This sounds like a pretty simple and to be frank, dull film. A film about divorce and family struggles isn't something that I personally think would appeal to many people simply based on the fact that divorce has become an accepted thing in England and is something that people are surrounded by day in, day out; therefore why would anyone want to see this film?

                Well the premise may sound a little underwhelming to say the least and to be totally honest when I started watching this the other day I didn't exactly have high hopes for it and imagined that it would be turned off pretty quickly however there's something so subtle and heart-warming about this film which you experience the second it begins that I couldn't bring myself to turn it off and I actually become completely captivated by the whole thing.

                This isn't a film that's going to appeal to everybody for the simple fact that if divorce surrounds us on an everyday basic why would people want to spend time watching a film about it? This is the films only real downfall therefore I wasn't surprised that I had never heard of it when I saw it advertised on ITV2 a couple of nights ago. If it wasn't for my tedious activities that night there's no way I would have even given this film the time of day but I'm thoroughly glad I did.

                The film starts off swiftly and we're immediately introduced to all the characters; Jackie, played by the brilliant Susan Sarandon is the loving Mother to Anna and Ben but is also very bitter about her ex-husbands relationship with Anna and the fact that Anna is nearly 20 years younger than him just seems to stick the knife in even more. The film really revolves around Jackie and Isabel who are both played by superb and equally accomplished actresses and Susan Sarandon really excels in playing what is basically a very mundane but relatable character. There will be women everywhere who can relate with her struggle of having their children looked after by another woman and although I'm not one of those women this film really hit home for me and I felt her struggle immensely throughout the film.

                Julia Roberts is her usual perky self throughout the film but she still manages to bring out another dimension to what is another extremely relatable character. You really feel for her during the film as you can see that she just wants to fit in with the family and everytime she gets close to achieving this the rug is pulled from under her feet in one way or another, leaving her very frustrated. The two immensely talented actresses work exceptionally well together and even though they're two of Hollywood's best known and most talented actresses there doesn't seem to be any sense of rivalry between them. Neither one of them tries to outshine the other in any of the scenes they shared together, they both do their best to excel in their individual roles but it's obvious that neither of them wants to steal the spotlight from the other and I find that very admirable.

                The film will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, from happiness, sorrow, depression to angst and frustration; you'll experience it all with this and I have to say that it accomplishes it's range of emotions extremely well. There are times when I think the film may come across as a little over sentimental as they seem to create a mini drama from everything that goes on but that just adds to the enjoyment of it all. This is a very emotional film that really struck a cord with me and I really felt for the children as I went through something strikingly similar at their age which I wouldn't wish on anybody. I didn't know this before I watched it and if I had known then I doubt I would have watched it because it brought back so many different memories and emotions for me. So just be warned that although it's a heart-warming film it isn't exactly an uplifting story so I wouldn't recommend it for young children as it deals with very serious issues.

                The film has a very subtle, dry sense of humour which I really liked as it never goes too over the top and knows where to draw the line between comedy and drama. Stepmom knows when to insert the jokes and when to lay off, allowing the drama to captivate people which it wholeheartedly does. The comedy aspect may be a little subtle but it works fantastically well given the subject matter of the film, most of the intentional comedy comes from the brilliant Julia Roberts with her perfectly timed one-liners and there also effortless comedy moments from Jena Malone and Liam Aiken who play Sarandon's young children.

                As I mentioned previously, the film is very emotional towards the end but I feel that the film ends perfectly and keeps in tone with the storyline impeccably. I couldn't have wished for a better ending and my only bugbear would be that it ended too soon because I was enjoying it so much!

                I'd highly recommend this however it certainly isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, if you're a macho man who likes his horrors and action movies this isn't going to be a film for you. It's without doubt more of a film aimed at a female audience therefore if you haven't yet seen it you simply must. After watching it on TV I've since ordered it on DVD so I can watch it again in the near future. As aforementioned, I said that if I had known what the full subject matter was about I probably wouldn't have watched it, suffice to say I'm glad that I did and although it is a very emotional film that will have you reaching for the tissues it's well worth a watch.

                The DVD is currently available from play.com for £3.99.

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                  28.06.2009 12:53

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                  A very moving movie that you will want to watch more then once

                  Step Mom is a very moving movie that made me cry, it also made me want to get up and sing! No it's not a musical but the mother and two kids do sing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and dance around the house, which will make you want to join in! This film stars Susan Sarandon as the mother whos called Jackie and is divorced to Luke who is played by Ed Harris and he is now going out with Isabel who is played by Julia Roberts. The movie is about how Jackie and Isabel become friends which at the beginning seems very unlikely to happen. However Jackie soon finds out that she is ill and therefore the two women both have to move forward for the sake of the kids. It is a really great movie, I watched it first on channel 4 then had to buy it on DVD as you will want to watch it more then once.

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                  19.03.2009 21:52
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                  A very watchable film

                  With a title like 'Stepmom', this film was either likely to be a real horror movie with the stepmom doing truly wicked deeds, or it would be a very sentimental and twee film. Of course, the fact that it stars Julia Roberts makes it almost guaranteed to be the latter - which indeed it is! If you decide to watch this film you will be able to indulge in two hours of pure sentimentality! Not everyone's cup of tea I realise but not a bad way to spend a couple of hours!

                  Julia Roberts plays Isabel, the stepmum in question. At the start of the film she is realising that being a stepmum is not an easy job, particularly when the children's mother is not your number one fan. Added to that, if parenting does not come naturally, you are bound to make mistakes which she does. It also doesn't help that the children's mum, Jackie (played by Susan Sarandon) appears to be the perfect mother. Their father Luke (Ed Harris) seems to be caught in the middle always trying to keep the peace!

                  However, as certain events occur both women realise that they are going to need to start pulling together in order to do the best for the children Anna and Ben (Jena Malone and Luke Aiken). As the film progresses it slowly charts a shift in the relationship between the two woment haltingly moving away from animosity towards respect and even love. As this happens Isabel's relationship with the children slowly changes too.

                  This is a moving film although at times it did feel a bit overly sentimental. There are some funny moments particularly early on when Anna and Ben are running circles around Isabel. Sometimes it was quite startling though how the humour quickly changesdto something more poignant particularly with almost throwaway scathing comments from the children. At times the film is also very sad and it did have me reaching for the tissues at least a couple of times. However, by the end of the film, you feel almost uplifted. Therefore be prepared to suffer a whole range of emotions if you choose to watch this film!

                  It was interesting for me to watch the film as I am a stepmum myself - although luckily my stepchildren never demonstrated towards me the hostility that is shown towards Isabel. It is spot on at times though and really does portray what a difficult line you have to tread in the role of step mum. Isabel never seems to be able to do or say the right thing! Also, I feel that the film does demonstrate how influential the actions of adults are on their children. It's interesting to note that when Jackie's attitude towards Isabel softens so do Ben and Anna's. Also there is a very poignan t line from Ben when talking about Isabel to his mum he says - 'I will hate her if you want me to!'

                  I felt all of the roles were well cast. I am usually a big Julia Roberts fan and she gives her usual excellent performance in this film. Susan Sarandon's portrayal of Jackie makes a really good contrast between the two women. Th etwo young actors playing Ben and Anna were also very convincing.

                  I did enjoy this film - if enjoy is the right word. I liked the mixture of poignancy and humour and also at times found it thought provoking. It did maybe feel a little slow in places and could probably have done with being about twenty minutes shorter. Alsoit was probably a little over sentimental at times so I don't think everyone would enjoy it. I knew my husband wouldn't so I didn't even suggest that he watch it with me!

                  There are really many eaxtras to speak of buti8f you are interested you can choose to watch:

                  US theatrical trailer
                  Behind the scenes featurette
                  Filmographies which are no more than lists of what the main actors have done before.

                  At the moment, the DVD is available on Amazon for only £2.42! It has a running time of 120 m inutes and has a 12 classification.

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                    25.01.2009 20:05
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                    Brilliant film! Must see

                    I first came across this film after reading a review on it in a magazine. I am so glad that I did come across it as I then went on to buy this film. Stepmom is 1998 film, it was directed by Chris Columbus. It has starring: Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon & Ed Harris.

                    A couple divorce leaving two young children to cope with having to adapt with their parents getting on with their lives, meeting a new partner etc. The parents do as much as possible to ensure that their children lead a happy life however this is not as easy as it seems. The children (Ben & Anna) find it very difficult getting used to Isabel who is their fathers new partner. Anna in particular acts very rudely to Isabel and makes her feel very inadequate in ever becoming a mother.

                    The childrens mother also does not get on at all with her ex-husbands new partner. She also treats her poorly and as if she is not good enough to be a part of her childrens life.

                    This film has so many laughs throughout it. "Aint no mountain high comes to mind" Haha! :) Then comes the tragic news about Ben & Anna's mother, who has secretly been fighting against Cancer. Not wanting to worry her children she keeps this a secret until it is no longer able to hide. Anna reacts very badly to this news as she feels that she has been lied to, when of course, all her mother ever wanted to do was protect her children.

                    The ending however, is so upsetting!! Right the way throughout the film it is very obvious to all that the children's mother does not get on with Isabel childrens step mom. This however changes with time, as she realises that Isabelle does infact generally care for her children and does not want to take over her role of becoming the childrens mother. Isabel reveals that she admires Jackie's (childrens mother) maternal instincts, this is turn led to Jackie complimenting Isabel on her ability to connect with Anna. This is definately a tear jerker. It is sad to see that the two only start to bond whilst Jackie is so ill.

                    Definately a must see. Be warned a tear Jerker: Get the tissues ready!

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                      28.11.2008 13:35
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                      Just a lovely film to watch, most of you will love it.

                      I first watched this film back when I was still in middle school and loved every minute of it, I thought it had everything, I was even more of a woos back then, and this film made me sob near the ending. Here is my review on this wonderful film.

                      The Plot

                      Anna and Ben are having to cope with many problems in their lives, their parents have just divorced and their dad has another woman in his life, Isabel. Isabel and their mother Jackie do not get along, however when disaster strikes, Jackie must rely on Isabel's help.

                      The Cast

                      Isabel Kelly played by Julia Roberts

                      Roberts as always delivers her best, she plays Isabel the new woman in Luke's life. She has to deal with being the new woman, and the family he had created before he met her. As always she is brilliant and really makes the performance brilliant.

                      Jackie Harrison played by Susan Sarandon

                      Sarandon plays Jackie, the mother whose world is turned upside down with some bad news. She must rely on Isabel, the new woman in her ex-husbands life to help look after her children. Sarandon is brilliant in this film, I've never been a fan of her, but in this film she really

                      Jena Malone and Liam Aiken

                      These two play the children in the movie; they really steal the show from the adults. They are just brilliant in this film, great actors who will do so much more when they are older.

                      The Opinion

                      Directed by the wonderful Christopher Columbus, it isn't anything like his other work. The film follows Susan Surandon who has divorced from Ed Harris's character, and is now having to deal with the fact that he's met another woman played by Julia Roberts.

                      When the twist hits, you find yourself feeling all kinds of emotions, even before this, it's quite an emotional movie, due to the fact that you find yourself imaging how hard it must be for Sarandon's character to deal with the fact her kids have a stepmother almost, and that she's a lot younger, and doesn't have to deal with a lot of the things that Sarandon has to deal with.

                      The film itself isn't really my kind of film usually, because if I watch a sob story like this, I usually like for it to have a comedy genre behind it, and this film doesn't which is a slight disappointment.

                      The thing that makes this film for me has to be the wonderful acting. Whether it's from the three main adult actors in the film Ed Harris, Julia Roberts and Susan Surandon or the two young children who do steal the show almost. They all deliver some amazing performances all of which make the film what it is.

                      The script is what also made the film so good, the story was very well written, and what could have been a boring film, became something which people related to and loved. The film stared three of the biggest actors in that time and they all managed to deliver some great performances due to the brilliant scripts.

                      Should You Buy The Film?

                      You should be able to get it pretty cheap now, so yes, you should buy it. It's a lovely sweet film, which will make you think, what if? It's really good, and if you haven't seen it already, you should check it out.

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                        01.05.2008 19:16
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                        great!

                        An amazing film! I watched it on the TV recently and was captivated by the plot line and the amazingly good acting between Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Two children of Jackie (Susan Sarandon) and Luke (Ed Harris), have to cope with the fact that their parents divorced and that there is a new woman in their father's life: Isabel (Julia Roberts), 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 and stupid. 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. It's all about the battle to see who can look after the kids and looking after Jackie. An emotional rolercoaster that will definatley have you in tears afterwards.

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                          23.08.2001 01:59
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                          ***FOR UPDATED VERSION ON THE NOVEL PLEASE GO TO THE BOTTOM OF MY OPINION*** This opinion is on a film called STEPMOM. A brilliant film at that! INTRODUCTION Last night I watched this film (By the time this opinion gets posted I will have seen this film many days ago!!!) and was totally amazed, after watching Drop Dead Gorgeous the night before and being totally disapointed, this film was such a relief to watch. (See Drop Dead Gorgeous opinion for my review of the night of boredom!) As some of you know from my 'Poole' opinion, I went on holiday a little while ago, whilst on holiday my mum gave me a book to read for when I got bored, now gone a week being back at home I still haven't even got past the first page, the book was called 'Stepmom'. It looked an alright book and thats from a person that hardly reads anything! It also had a picture of Julia Roberts on the front, then I realised that the book was from the film, Stepmom. Then on Thursday night, I get back from football training, have a shower and sit down to watch a 9 o'clock film on sky hoping something decent was on and 'Stepmom' comes on, so my mum, my sister and myself all sit down and watch it. THE PLOT/WHAT HAPPENS The plot is amazing, it leads a story of trust, betrayel, love and deceit. It's a story about love, letting go and the courage to say goodbye. Jackie is the perfect mum, with a loving daughter and son. She is wise and mature in many ways. All three, daughter, son and mum live loving and caring lives, everything seems fine, the 3 have finally just come to terms with Jackies divorce from Luke, the kids father which happened roughly about 3 yrs ago. But then Isabel appears on the scene, Lukes new girlfriend, then things seem to go a little pear shaped. Isabel, the young, pretty woman whose work obsessed is a disaster with kids, Luke her new boyfriend, has two kids by Jacki
                          e, Anna and Ben. One of around 12, the other around 7 I am led to believe. Isabel beleives she has fallen in love with Luke and has moved in with him. It is no longer Jackie, Anna and Ben who regularly see their father, it's Jackie, Anna and Ben that see their father and Isabel. Then the story starts, Isabel has to have turns looking after the kids when Luke is away working, the kids hate her due to jealousy. Things don't go that well, Jackie the perfect mum doesen't approve of her and thinks that she could never have children of her own. ~ She is a disaster with kids! Isabel manages to lose the youngest child, Ben in the park, she seems to have no control over Anna and thats when Jackie steps in and says to Luke it's time to call in a lawyer, she never wants her kids alone with Isabel ever again. Now it's Isabels time to proove that she can be a success with kids, these kids, it's showtime, can she manage and control them, make them earn her trust!? The plot continues to unravel, will or won't everyone get along happily ever after?! Although this is the main story to the film itself, there is an unexpected twist which you realise about just as the story begins to get good. I'm not going to give it away but beware, this film is soppy and very sad. If your going to sit down and watch this film, get a box of tissues ready and prepare for a heartache of will's or wont's. The story is amazing, although not a true story, it comes from a novel. I thought the film was so great I have infact started reading the novel that my mum got me!!! THE ACTORS Isabel the younger woman in the film, the so called 'STEPMOM' is played by my all time favourite actress and idol, Julia Roberts, This is one of her older films and you see a much younger Julia Roberts. She plays a strong and demanding character but also a funny one, very impatient but a strai
                          ght-to-the-point woman. Jackie the older of the two, the perfect mum, is played by Susan Sarandon. She seems the more down-to-earth character but also a pleasure to watch. She has her funny moments with her children especially but she also has some rather serious sad moments. Luke, the father torn between his family and his new love, is played by Ed Harris, I think he acted and handled his character brilliantly. He is also funny, yet a rather serious person in the film. He seems a great actor and have never come across him before. I'm not sure who the children were played by but they also did brilliant jobs, especially as little bratty kids! OTHER INFO As I have mentioned this film is based on a book. Infact it says on the book, a novel by MAGGIE ROB and based on a stroy by GIGI LEVANGIE. SEE ADDED BIT AT THE END OF OPINION I'm afraid I'm not sure on the certificate of this film, but I think it's a PG. I recommend it as a family film, there is no nudity, sex or violence at all, just some mild swearing, there is also swearing in the book version. You can visit this website: http://www.spe.sony.com/movies/stepmom/ This gives you loads of brilliant extra information and pictures. The film is directed by Chris Columbus. He also directed Home Alone and Mrs Doubtfire, he is a great director! CONCLUSION This film is much better than I expected it to be, I thought it would have just been one of those older films that was ok but not great, however I thought this performance was outstanding and I would definitely watch it again, the characters were great. Looking for a quiet night in, need a movie? Whether your a loved up couple or a family group, this could be the film for you to watch, as I said before though, get a box of tissues handy!!! Thanks and cheers. ~M~ :0) UPDATED VERISON I MENTIONED THAT WHEN I FINISHED READING THE NOVEL O
                          F STEPMOM I WOULD LET YOU ALL KNOW WHAT I THOUGH, IF YOU'RE INTERESTED READ ON... As my updated part of this opinion, I'm just letting you all know that I have officially finished reading the novel of 'Stepmom' After watching the movie and reading the novel second, I wish I had done it the other way around, the novel is so simalar to the movie so therefore I knew what was going to happen next in the book, although I suppose this happens whatever way you read or watch. There are 3 main adults to the story, the mum and dad who are split and the to-be stepmom, The father is called Luke and I felt that he appeared way more in the fim than in the novel, in the book there was a total of 39 chapters and only 6 of those were Lukes! I think I better mention the chapter bit here, each chapter is one of the main characters own personal bit, either Jackie, Isabel or Luke, they have chapter after chapter of there feelings which I like. There is another main feature which I noticed more in the novel than in the film. That is the 'Never Never and Always Always' theme, if you have read the book you will understand me, if you haven't then lets just say you will notice it more in the novel than in the film! Personally I feel that this book is brilliant, whether you're not interested in movies and prefer a good read, or just incase you want to compare like I did, this book retails at £5.99 which is a bit hefty, so I recommend you nip down to your local library, there sure to have one, thanks for reading. ~M~ :0)

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                          Although 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 mum 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 trivialise her plight in its final reel. Initially, the rancour that passes between divorced mum 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 children 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 sanitised 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 mum 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 mum. 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, Amazon.com