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Stepmom
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Guitar Solos by:
Christopher Parkening

Song Performed by:
Marvin Gaye
Tammi Terrell

Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Sony Classical
(December 8th, 1998)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you are familiar with and enjoy John Williams' similarly subdued character drama scores for small ensembles in the late 1980's.

Avoid it... if you expect any lasting impression to be made by this safely warm, but ultimately fluffy and mundane replacement score.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #171
WRITTEN 12/16/98, REVISED 7/22/07
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Williams
Williams
Stepmom: (John Williams) Few films with such an accomplished cast and crew have failed in such totality as Stepmom. It's a movie that proves that no matter how wide a range of talent you hire for your film, everything can be derailed by a team of five screenwriters who don't know the meaning of the word 'subtlety.' The story of Stepmom depicts Susan Sarandon as the divorced mother of two children with Ed Harris. When Harris brings home Julie Roberts, the kids have to deal with the new mother and the friction between Sarandon and Roberts. The film never tries to hide the fact that it blatantly jerks those tears from its viewers. Director Chris Columbus made it clear at the time, interestingly, that a trusting relationship with his composers for each film is of paramount importance. He placed his trust in reliable British composer Patrick Doyle for Stepmom, who struggled through serious illness to write a heavily melodramatic score for the film. Unfortunately, Columbus didn't return the trust to Doyle. Film Score Monthly reported at the time that John Williams, after being delighted by an advanced screening of the film, used his reputation as muscle to push Doyle out the door. This is highly unlikely in its confrontational stance, but it's certainly possible that circumstances presented themselves in such a way that Williams' arrival was more than just convenient. Columbus had worked with Williams before (Home Alone) and would do so again (Harry Potter), and given Williams' open schedule at the time, it's hard to imagine why Williams wasn't originally assigned to Stepmom. Another head-scratcher is the tone of Williams' score; if Columbus and his writers were so intent on pulling the strings on the audience's emotions at regular intervals, then why not explore the more syrupy sound for a score? It seems that Doyle was perhaps simply reacting to what he saw on screen and writing music to match. Conversely, Williams' score is better tempered and possibly an attempt by Columbus to tone back the obviously overt emotions of the film. A score from the maestro hasn't been this restrained and conventional since the days of Stanley & Iris, The Accidental Tourist, and Always in the late 1980's.

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VIEWER RATINGS
3,333 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.52 Stars
***** 877 5 Stars
**** 945 4 Stars
*** 833 3 Stars
** 392 2 Stars
* 286 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
16 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Stepmom Formula
Bruno Costa - December 5, 2010, at 5:02 a.m.
1 comment  (692 views)
please read this
kayla waid - September 1, 2005, at 4:13 p.m.
1 comment  (2039 views)
Stepmom Quiz ( Related to the Movie )   Expand >>
Slick Nick - August 17, 2005, at 3:09 p.m.
2 comments  (2811 views)
Newest: May 5, 2006, at 10:23 a.m.by Samantha Ryals
reviewer is NOT nice!!!!   Expand >>
kayla waid - July 20, 2005, at 2:44 p.m.
2 comments  (2132 views)
Newest: June 15, 2008, at 5:10 p.m.by Jack
Hospital
Lindsay - November 21, 2004, at 3:49 p.m.
1 comment  (1567 views)
lyrics   Expand >>
Lindsey - May 16, 2002, at 2:45 p.m.
6 comments  (5373 views)
Newest: August 31, 2005, at 1:21 p.m.by j
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 57:02
• 1. Always and Always (3:41)
• 2. The Days Between* (6:27)
• 3. Time Spins its Web (2:19)
• 4. The Soccer Game (4:27)
• 5. A Christmas Quilt (3:56)
• 6. Isabel's Horse and Buggy (1:28)
• 7. Taking Pictures* (3:12)
• 8. One Snowy Night (5:33)
• 9. Ben's Antics (3:04)
• 10. Isabel's Picture Gallery (3:44)
• 11. Jackie and Isabel* (2:59)
• 12. Jackie's Secret (3:33)
• 13. Bonding (3:55)
• 14. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (2:29)
• 15. End Credits* (6:18)
* Contains guitar solos by Christopher Parkening

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains a note from director Chris Columbus about Williams, including the following excerpt:

    "John's genius is two-fold. He provides the film viewer with an emotionally complex and deeply moving experience, and he gives the record listener a glorious album that stands on its own as a major artistic achievement. It is not an easy feat, but one that John Williams does time and time again. It has been an honor to work with him. He has enriched my life and my film, and I will be forever grateful."

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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Stepmom are Copyright © 1998, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/16/98 and last updated 7/22/07.
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