Stepsister from Planet Weird
Premiering Saturday, 6/17/00 at 7:30 PM (ET/PT) on the Disney Channel, “Stepsister from Planet Weird” concerns Megan Larson (Courtnee Draper) whose world is about to be turned upside down when her mom, a free-spirited owner of a windsurfing shop, announces her engagement to eccentric Cosmo Cola. Turns out, Megan has good reason to be frustrated. Her soon-to-be stepfather and stepsister are benign beings from another planet, with unusual eating habits and a habitual fear of the wind.
Not wanting her mother to marry this bizarre fellow, Megan soon discovers that she has an ally in Ariel Cola. Ariel hates life on earth and wants to return to her own planet, not understanding that her father would be imprisoned by the imperialistic ruler of their homeland. The teens join forces to split their parents up. However, their mischievous scheming brings the girls closer together, and they realize that being a family might not be so bad after all.
The film begins with the Larson family attempting to find quality time, only to be ignored by the workaholic father who’s too busy on the cell phone to frolic in the ocean. The next thing you know, Mom has kicked him out and soon begins dating a goofy man she meets at the beach. The apathetic attitude towards divorce is only one of the negative behaviors portrayed in this TV-film. The lead constantly dismisses her 7-year-old brother, backtalks her mother, and deceives grownups in order to achieve her own desires. Adults are portrayed as imbeciles, and one scene has an inexperienced bike rider tumbling head-over-heels when she is unable to stop at the bike stand. Fellow classmates, thinking that this is cool, copy the act. Wouldn’t it be tragic if even one child became injured by imitating a stunt from a mediocre movie? Also troubling is the insertion of one character who happens to be a psychic, espousing reincarnation by telling of her past lives. Due to biblical teaching (“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” Hebrews 9:27), I have problems with this ideology being introduced into a family film. I, do not, however, believe in making fun of another person’s convictions. Several people in the film mock this woman’s beliefs, with the script painting her as a nutcase. It’s one thing to say she is misguided in her dogma, but it’s uncharitable to ridicule her personal beliefs. I cannot, in all conscience approve this movie in spite of the fact that it’s basic content is not outside of The Dove Foundation’s norms. Although there is no objectionable words or situations, I found the amoral attitute from several central characters and the apathetic attitude for divorce and its effect on the family to be inappropriate for family viewing.