When a film is an adaptation of another film, the merit of the original can weigh it down. We Are Family carries no crashing baggage. American director Chris Columbus’ Stepmom (1998), of which it is a direct adaptation, is a black-and-white film about the tussle of two female prototypes—the ideal mother, hallowed, because of her obsessive need to protect her children—and stripped of sexuality; and the young, ambitious, desirable lover who has to prove that she too can master the motherhood canon. Susan Sarandon was not her best, Julia Roberts was safely edgy.
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