why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

stepmom.jpg (7142 bytes)

Stepmom

Starring Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Ed Harris
Screenplay by Gigi Levangie, Jessie Nelson, Steven Rogers, Karen Leigh Hopkins, Ron Bass
Story on Gigi Levangie
Directed by Chris Columbus
Website: www.sony.com/stepmom

IN SHORT: For fans of Oprah Winfrey's TV show. [Rated PG-13]

Cranky says that because a month ago he stumbled across Oprah to find stars Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon graciously entertaining a group of midlife crisis aged starstruck female fans, all of whom were raving after having seen an advance showing of Stepmom. Oprah knows these are the folk for this flick, which is so wildly unfocussed that any testosterone bearing homosapien will be confused as hell. I can't say that my negative reaction to Stepmom is such that it guarantees a sure fire hit (as with last year's As Good As It Gets) but Cranky sat through this flick not caring a rat's patootie about the events on screen. Stepmom isn't a bad film. It's just not good enough to make (me) care.

Here's the thing about chick flicks; most of the time they're designed to shred the heartstrings and leave the femmes in the audience sitting in puddles. This usually means a horrific death (always long and physically destructive, usually from cancer) and/or the termination of a long time relationship because the guy is a big stinking hunk of number two. That's not the case in Stepmom, where a likable and very rich white guy Luke (Ed Harris) has dumped the mother of his two children, Jackie (Sarandon), for a successful pro fashion photographer, therefore just a step above trophy wife, younger woman Isabel (Roberts). The kidlets (Jena Malone and Liam Aiken), a preteen girl and 7 year old boy love mom, hate stepmom. Stepmom never wanted kids in the first place, but she's doing her best to make friends with 'em 'cuz she really loves very rich white guy. Realmom does everything she can to make stepmom miserable; to show that she is the superior mother (Sarandon's chick does everything but wear the red cape) and at least twice in the flick, the actions are so bitchy and hurtful, Cranky audibly mumbled "I hope you die."

Unfocussed means that the story is not about a war between Realmom and Stepmom for love of the kids. It is not a battle between Realmom and Realdad for possession. It is not a battle between Realkids and Stepmom to try and find that grey area where everybody can get along. It is a story that attempts to be all those things, and still deliver a tear stained happy ending (meaning no deaths on the screen). Five screenwriters all pitched in to pen this thing and you all know the old adage about too many cooks. . .

Fact of the matter is that the first buzz that circulated about this flick put forth the story that it was about a dying mom who selected her successor. But that story floated a long time ago, and isn't even close to what's on screen - - until you hit the very last scene in which peace is made.

Cranky's take: heck, I'm a New Yorker. I look at the obvious wealth in Luke's pockets (a duplex loft in the city, a old money house for the ex up in Westchester); the characterization that he never wanted trouble with his ex, and think the obvious New York thing. Get a mistress. Isabel didn't want kids. Jackie did. It all wraps up perfectly and doesn't leave any reason to make a movie. That's why I don't write movies. I think too much.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Stepmom,he would have paid...

$3.00

Had it not had the big stars, Stepmom should've been made for a movie of the week on teevee. This flick is definitely for the ladies all of whom can make more sense of it than I.


buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.