Reviewed by Dan Lybarger

December 30, 1998

When it comes to movies, sentiment is like special effects: A little bit can go a long way. With Stepmom, there is so much sweetness that it gets downright stifling. When Isabel (Julia Roberts) agrees to marry her longtime beau Luke (Ed Harris), she has to contend with his kids (Jena Malone and Liam Aiken). They don't like her and would rather spend their time with Luke's ex, Jackie (Susan Sarandon). Their attitudes change when Jackie develops cancer. Director Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire) doesn't know when to quit. The aimless storyline doesn't help (there are FIVE credited writers). After awhile, the cycle of feuding and bonding between Isabel and Jackie gets redundant and stale. Columbus also uses the Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" so much that one begins to resent it. Fortunately, the cast is consistently solid. Sarandon and Harris are expectedly fine, and Roberts keeps up with them nicely. There's nothing wrong with a good tearjerker, but Stepmom isn't one. (PG-13) Rating: 4



Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts in Stepmom.

Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts feud and bond in Stepmom.

© 1998 Colombia Pictures, used by permission.






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This page was last updated on 12/30/98.
Ó 1998 Dan Lybarger


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