• Publication date: January 6, 2010

Sometimes An Adversary Is An Essential Friend Despite Hate Motherly Love Must Prevail In The End

Chris Columbus, the director of family comedies such as �Home Alone� (1990) and �Night At the Museum� (2006) departs from his humorous standard and delivers a drama examining parenting, divorce, death, and perseverance despite one�s grim conditions.

Chris Columbus, the director of family comedies such as �Home Alone� (1990) and �Night At the Museum� (2006) departs from his humorous standard and delivers a drama examining parenting, divorce, death, and perseverance despite one�s grim conditions. �Stepmom� (1998) features two of Hollywood�s leading women: Academy Award winners Julia Roberts of �Pretty Woman� (1990) notoriety, and Susan Sarandon who appeared in �The Witches Of Eastwick� (1987) and the sobering �Dead Man Walking� (1995).

Roberts portrays Isabel Kelly, a young and attractive woman in a romantic relationship with Luke Harrison (Ed Harris), a man old enough to be her father. Sarandon depicts Isabel�s nemesis, Jackie � Ed�s ex-wife and the mother of his two children.

Ed and Isabel date for approximately a year before deciding to tie the knot. While both individuals are blissfully in love Jackie, and by proxy her two children (who reside with their father) are less than welcoming. The children, Anna (Jena Malone) and Ben (Liam Aiken) are apprehensive of Isabel�s capabilities as a mother; so is Jackie, who despises Ed�s new wife out of spite and jealously. Jackie frequently, though indirectly encourages the children to aggravate their new step mom. At other times her animosity is less subtle, like when she scolds Isabel for buying the kids tickets to a rock concert. After convincing the step mom not to take the children Jackie buys her own tickets, takes Ben and Anna to the concert, and subsequently becomes the night�s hero.

Things change however when Jackie is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Their mother now realizes that there is no time to quarrel with Isabel, nor harbor negative feelings toward her. In her final days the dying matriarch will genuinely befriend her successor, and also attempt to instill Isabel with motherly wisdom to ensure Ben and Anna�s happiness. The central theme of �Stepmom� begins to develop from this point forward, as both women bond, lower their guards, and share experiences that will move and inspire the film�s viewers.

�Stepmom�s� soundtrack features many familiar tunes including the Motown sounds of Marvin Gaye and The Supremes, alongside classic rock from Queen and David Bowie. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe, Kids� Choice Award, and a Teen Choice Award.

It is rated PG-13 for language and thematic elements with a runtime is 124 minutes.