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Stepmom, Film 4

From:     blp
Category: Art
Date:     13 August 2007
Time:     04:30 AM


Julia Roberts is living with Ed Harris. He has two kids, a cute boy who's under ten and a serious
daughter who's approaching puberty. The daughter doesn't like Julia Roberts and neither does her Mom
(Mum), Susan Sarandon, who keeps turning up and undermining her in various ways. Whenever Julia
Roberts has to look after the kids, something goes wrong, like the boy gets lost. 

Then, fortunately, Susan Sarandon gets cancer and from then on, everything gets better. The family,
all being fundamentally decent and comfortably prosperous, pull together, find common ground, are
basically winsome and do film trailer-friendly things like mime to soul songs in expansive,
magazine-perfect, middle-American home interiors and set up lifesize cardboard cutouts of themselves
and hug. Ed Harris gets to have not one but two beautiful women in his life, both of whom, careers
notwithstanding, seem willing to take on all childminding duties. All misunderstandings are cleared
up within seconds and the two women become best friends. It all goes so super-fulfillingly well that
when Sarandon realises she's definitely going to die, she kind of doesn't mind. 

All I could think all the way through was how much worse it could have been, with an increasingly
ill Sarandon turning into the ne plus ultra of an embarrassing mum, constantly, unhingedly desperate
for overt displays of affection, foisting clammy embraces on mortified children who know they should
be reciprocating, but can't help being more attracted to the more lively and glamorous Roberts and
making childishly insensitive comments about things they'll get to do when Mom's dead. 

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