Are you looking for an “enjoy-at-home” film? One that is worth recommending is “Stepmom” currently featuring on Netflix. Premiered many years ago, it is as relevant today as it was when released. With a stellar cast, the film movingly depicts the challenges faced by adults and children after family breakdown. Susan Sarandon plays the mother, Jackie, opposite Ed Harris, her ex-husband, Luke.
Julia Roberts is Luke’s new and live-in love interest, Isabel. Jackie’s hurt and anger over being “replaced” as a parent by Isabel are as palpable as the rejection and stonewalling Isabel feels by Jackie while trying to find her place in the children’s lives. The film belongs as much to Sarandon and Roberts as it does to the children, Anna and Ben, played by Jena Malone and Liam Aiken.
Anna, particularly, gives the viewers a compelling portrayal of the anguish and hurt caused by her parents’ separation while Ben looks for assurances as he tries to navigate the tricky waters of divided loyalties. Although a critical set of circumstances bring the adults together, the film’s message is that, in the best interests of children, the adults need to “make it right.”
Unsurprisingly, Sarandon was nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actress Award for this film and Roberts won its Blockbuster Entertainment Favourite Actress Award. Have your tissues ready and enjoy this film.