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Top 5 Best Step Families in Film

Top 5 Best Step Families in Film

2) EdTV


Many people probably remember this as the other reality TV movie about a man being on TV 24/7 that came out around the same time as “The Truman Show.” Which I find funny since it was after these films that the reality TV shows REALLY seemed to take off. I think “The Truman Show” is seen as the better one of the two, but I very much enjoy both. “The Truman Show” may be a more clever, emotional film but “EdTV” still had some great cast and hilarious moments. It’s definitely the more mainstream of the two. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing and even though I think “EdTV” was more about being silly than “Truman Show” it did manage to pull some strong emotional punches.

Now the films starts off interestingly enough with his family. Martin Landau plays his stepfather. They mention their biological father once or twice before Dennis Hopper shows up wanting to re-connect. What I really like about him is that while he left them, but the film doesn’t treat him like an evil person. He wasn’t an abusive parent in fact the more we learn about it the more we learn that the mother did more of the unscrupulous things. Then, Hopper’s character dies and it leads to what I think is by far the best scene in the film. At this point Ed is a phenomenon, but to the point the rest of the family decides they don’t want him at the funeral with all the cameras following him. Martin Landau still comes by to talk/comfort with Ed. It is at this point Ed realizes that Landau’s character is his real father and tells him this. Martin Landau is a great actor and his face just sells it in this moment. A great reminder of how we can take our step parents for granted and how important it is to tell them these things sometimes.

1) The Birdcage


In this more PC culture and with LGBT members being very vocal about their representations on film I’m not sure what the general conscience of “The Birdcage” is. I don’t particularly care. I love this movie and it’s one of my favorite films ever. It’s one of the films my family constantly quote to each other. Fun Fact: this is actually a remake of a French film. I’m still trying to track down a copy to watch so no opinion on that. For those who don’t know, the story is about a gay Florida couple (Albert and Armand) that owns a drag club. Their son comes home to announce his engagement. At the same time, the fiancée tells her Rightwing Conservative parents while neglecting to mention they’re gay. The problem comes with her parents who are in the middle of a public scandal. When they come to meet the boy’s parents, Armand and Albert must try to pass as straight. The plan falls apart as the night goes, but they continue with it as the comedy just builds and builds.

Now one may argue with this film being an entry depending on their definition of what a step parent is. Technically Robin Williams’ character was never married. He just had a drunken tryst with a woman. For me for all that this film is high camp, loud and in your face about its “gayness” the story at its core is very serious and heartfelt in subtle ways. Nathan Lane kills it in this film as the old queen type of gay, but still feels real. The scene when he cleans up after the son after he’s fallen asleep is fantastic. With no words Lane sells it. He so loves this boy and has been watching over him since he was young like a mother. Again, that’s what the best step families do. They make you forget there is no blood relation and just see/feel the love between them.

If there is one complaint with the film, it’s that the kids despite their wedding setting the whole film in motion are pretty bland and forgettable. When you get down to it what the kids are asking the parents to do is kind of messed up. It’s a common thing with step kids especially to take the step parents for granted at times. It’s normal and hopefully most grow out of it and learn better. That’s one thing I’ll suggest for whenever they remake this again. Make the kids more fleshed out characters with their own arcs. Albert and Armand should still be the center of the story, but let the kids also develop. As such, they’re just McGuffins not people. I agree we don’t need to remake this. However, if Hollywood does it there’s my free advice on it.

Now go tell your family (blood related or otherwise) you love them.

What do you think? What great portrayals of step families do you think I missed?

About The Author


Eric grew up with a simple childhood. At age 11 a six fingered man murdered his father in front of his eyes, while his mother died defending him from an attack from a sharptooth, then an evil toon dropped a piano from 15 stories onto his brother's head and then on top of all of that while on the job he was brutally shot up and left for dead but was rebuilt as a robotic cop to get his revenge. ...Oooorr maybe he just watched a lot of movies growing up and got really into them. From a young age Eric realized learning things like science, math, people's names etc. took some real effort but could easily remember practically all the dialog/plot details from a random movie he watched on tv years ago. He knew from a young age that he wanted to make movies and never strayed from that. Going to college to get an education in film production and working on movie sets whenever it can be fit into his schedule. Get him into a room full of people he doesn't know and over time you may eventually get him to open up but just mention some movies and he'll talk for hours, never afraid to (respectfully) argue with fellow movie nerds. Now he puts that love and energy toward writing for

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