Reviewed by Dustin Putman, December 27, Doubtfire" , is an earnest and well-made film with, perhaps, one unfair flaw: It is very similar to the recent, and far superior, "One True Thing," starring Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger. That is not to say it still isn't a marginally good film, however. The film begins as Isabel Julia Roberts , a young woman looking to be in her late 20's, is rushing around her house trying to get two children, year-old Anna Jena Malone and 7-year-old Ben Liam Aiken , off to school without much success. Before long, an older woman, Jackie Susan Sarandon , shows up, and we learn that she is the children's actual mother, while Isabel lives with the children's father, Luke Ed Harris , much to the spitefulness of Ben, and especially Anna. It is clear that Isabel is trying very hard to help take care of the children, but still has a lot to learn about parenting, and isn't helped very much by the uncooperation of the kids and Jackie, who obviously isn't too fond of Isabel, a woman whom she informs Luke, "is half his age.
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Stepmom () Cast
Tweet Sometimes all you have to do is look at the casting, and you can guess where a movie will take you. The current iconography of Sarandon and Roberts falls somewhere between feminist heroism and sainthood; if Roberts is the stepmom, you know she's not going to have fangs and talons. Advertisement Still, the art of a movie like this is to conceal the obvious. When the levers and the pulleys of the plot are concealed by good writing and acting, we get great entertainments like " Terms of Endearment. She thinks it's time she can be trusted to take care of his two kids for the weekend. He has his doubts, maybe because she's "not used to kids," maybe because he still sees his ex-wife Jackie Susan Sarandon as the perfect mother.
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Luke, an attorney , is living with his new girlfriend, Isabel Kelly Julia Roberts , a successful fashion photographer several years his junior. Isabel behaves with contempt tempered by caution around Jackie, believing she overcompensates for her divorce by spoiling her children. Jackie, a former publisher turned stay-at-home mom , gives Isabel a cold reception, seeing her as an overly ambitious career woman.