This touching movie may not grab you by reading about its central issues: Stepmom- the title may not make you curious either, but the film, itself deserves to be seen.
Stepmom features Susan Sarandon as the estranged ex -wife of Ed Harris. They have two children. The family has gone through some changes. Julia Roberts plays the 'new' girlfriend- the stepmom of the title. The first half of the film deals with how a birth mother might react when a new woman takes part responsibilty for the kids. Arguments flair up and we get to see the situation from both points of view.
Soon though the bickering turns to heartache when Jackie (Sarandon) is diagnosed with cancer. Roberts has to become the stepmom for 'real' now. Sarandon has to let go and Roberts has to put work commitments behind her and become a mum.
Susan Sarandon gives a powerhouse of a performance as Jackie- the mum who does not want to let go until illness leaves her with no choice. She is ably matched by Julia Roberts who has really blossomed as an actress in her last few films. There is much more to this actress than tituian curls and teeth. She remains sympathetic even though the audience feels for Jackie, too. This is down to Roberts excellent performance.
This film has been unfairly ignored and is worth buying. It's an emotional film that raises some very important issues and the director and actors handle them with panache and sensitivity.
If you fancy a night in to watch a good old faioned weepie- Stepmom will surprise you as it's a weepie with a message.