13 Movies That Shed a Bad Light on Stepmoms (PHOTOS)

13 Movies That Shed a Bad Light on Stepmoms (PHOTOS)

Thanks to Cinderella (and its various incarnations) stepmoms have earned a bum rap on the big screen. Rather than being portrayed as the warm and lovely bonus moms they can be in real life, actresses such as Anjelica Huston and Cate Blanchett have left an imprint of the stepmother as an evil, calculating witch.

These 13 films defamed stepmothers in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Which was your least favorite portrayal?


Image via Z1015 Bernd Settnik/epa/Corbis

  • Stepmom (1998)


    Image via Sony Pictures

    As the younger women who swooped in and took her husband, Julia Roberts is depicted as the career-oriented, bad advice-giving titular character in Stepmom while saintly Susan Sarandon's stay-at-home mother character battles cancer.

  • Cinderella (2015)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    No one ever roots for Cinderella's wicked stepmother to get her way, not even when she's played by the delightfully icy Cate Blanchett in the 2015 live-action remake.

  • Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)


    Image via Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

    In Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Anjelica Huston takes on the role of the evil stepmother, forcing Drew Barrymore's Danielle character to do manual labor and throwing her late father's prized book into the fire.

  • Tommy Boy (1995)


    As Beverly, Bo Derek's gold-digging stepmother character in Tommy Boy schemed to put her late husband's factory out of business.

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  • A.C.O.D. (2013)


    Image via Black Bear Pictures

    Amy Poehler is the same age as her adult stepson in A.C.O.D., but despite the closeness in years, she is depicted as money-hungry and unfriendly to Adam Scott's character.

  • Mirror Mirror (2012)


    Image via Relativity Media

    As the evil queen in Mirror Mirror, Julia Roberts is jealous of her stepdaughter Snow White and keeps her locked up in the castle.

  • Nanny McPhee (2005)


    Image via Universal Pictures

    In Nanny McPhee, the seven motherless children of Colin Firth's character object to their father getting remarried because "all stepmothers are evil."

  • Crazy/Beautiful (2001)


    Image via Touchstone Pictures

    Kirsten Dunst falls in love with a boy from the poor part of town in Crazy/Beautiful, much to the disappointment of her evil yuppie stepmother, who tries to break up their interracial romance.

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  • A Cinderella Story (2004)


    Image via Warner Bros. Entertainment

    After her father tragically dies in an earthquake, an uncaring stepmother forces Sam (played by a teenage Hilary Duff) to live in the attic and work long hours at the family diner in this modern Cinderella adaption.

  • In Her Shoes (2005)


    Image via Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

    Sydelle, the irritating stepmother character in In Her Shoes, resents her husband's two adult daughters (played by Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette) while constantly bragging about her own daughter, "my Marsha." 

  • Wicked Stepmother (1989)


    Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

    With a title like Wicked Stepmother, you won't be surprised to find out that the main character plays mean tricks on her vegetarian stepdaughter, like filling the refrigerator with meat.

  • The Uninvited (2009)


    Image via DreamWorks Pictures

    As the cruel stepmother in The Uninvited, Elizabeth Banks may or may not have killed her husband's late wife in this 2009 psychological thriller.

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  • After the Ball (2015)


    Image via Myriad Pictures

    In this contemporary retelling of Cinderella, the scheming Lauren Holly character tries to sabotage her stepdaughter's fashion career by forcing her to spend her time doing menial work like counting buttons.


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