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The Addams Family

The Addams Family

What She said:

She

What Halloween season would be complete without a customary screening of the 1991 family comedy, The Addams Family.  Based on the old TV show, the film is a mix of comedy and fantasy.  It has that sort of Edward Scissorhands bizarre-world feel, where people like the Addamses are almost considered normal.  But this family clearly is not.  

The movie follows its namesake as they are conned by a man posing as the patriarch of the family, Gomez Addams’, long lost brother, Fester.  You see, the Addams family has a ridiculous amount of wealth, which is shocking since they don’t really seem to work or do anything other than be odd.  Gordon and Abigail Craven, con-men by trade, latch on to this and try to make the most of it.

Interestingly enough, it seems that the family’s money comes from some sort of treasure, as we get to see some pretty shiny gold coins.  Fake-Fester gets Gomez, hook, line, and sinker, but the rest of the family is suspicious and tread carefully around him.  Unfortunately, no one in the family realizes what is going on until it is too late, and the Addams’ are thrown to the curb with no money at all.  They must collect themselves, tap into their sneaky sides, and get back at the Cravens before it’s too late.

The main plot of this film is very simple.  In fact, we sort of get away from it for a while as the movie gets caught up in its self-indulgent strangeness and its comedic one-liners.  Actually, it’s really the fun comedy that gives this movie legs.  There are some pretty funny moments for both children and adults.  In addition, the film has that early 90s vibe that will incite some nostalgia if you’re anything like me.  

The Addams Family

The movie stars Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christina Ricci as Wednesday, and Christopher Lloyd as Gordon Crave/Fester.  Those are the most notable names, although this is truly an ensemble movie, so you’ll see plenty of other familiar faces.  I loved the interactions between Morticia and Gomez.  The two were so sappy and romantic that it was truly comical, and I think Raul Julia did a wonderful job embracing the role.  Him and Anjelica Huston more than acted, they let the characters consume to the point of satire.  Lloyd was also strong as Fake Fester.  He brought an over-the-topness to the character that bordered on exhausting, but was still effective none-the-less.

I also enjoyed the spooky sets and costumes in this movie.  I mean, they’re classic to the story, but I think the moviemakers did a great job of making the Addams Family home seem real.  

The movie is fun and harmless.  It’s not perfect by any means, but is great for a family, especially this time of year.  

Thumbs up.  

The Addams Family

What He said:

He

It was a Sunday night and we hadn’t yet watched a second movie to review for the upcoming week. This just started on TV and I hadn’t seen this movie in years, so I figured it was worth watching.
Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) has never forgiven himself for what happened between him and his brother Fester. The two of them had a falling out 25 years ago and Fester has been absent from Gomez’s life ever since. Gomez and he rest of the family often hold séances to try and communicate with Fester; whom they presume is dead at this point. 

The Addams Family

Knowing this – and the fact that he is in debt to a bookie – the Addams’ family lawyer hatches a sinister plan. Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) is a lowlife lawyer with virtually no clients and a lot of debt. Abigal Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) is the loan shark he owes money to. He notices that her son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) bears a striking resemblance to Fester. He also knows that the Addams family is worth a great deal of money. So after a little back-and-forth, the three of them hatch a plan to have Gordon pose as Fester and break into the Addams’ vault.

One evening during once of the séances, “Fester” shows up at the house claiming to have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle for years. Abigal poses as his doctor. Next thing we know Gordon is in the house and the family is under the impression Fester has returned.

The family is both welcoming and skeptical at the same time. There are times where Gordon acts exactly as Fester would and others where he seems to have no memory of his family. Everything is eventually sorted out, but not before a whole lot of confusion and hijinks along the way.

As I said earlier, I hadn’t seen this in years. I actually remembered the overall storyline quite a bit, but almost none of the jokes or smaller details about the movie at all. I honestly didn’t really know what to expect at all, though I was leaning slightly towards it sucking. It wasn’t based on any memory I had from the movie, but so many remakes suck nowadays, you sort of come to expect it.

The Addams Family

Well I was pleasantly surprised. I thought this movie was pretty damn funny. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston absolutely killed it as Gomez and Morticia. On the surface, this really isn’t the kind of movie that comes to mind when you think of great performances, but it just goes to show you that you can’t dismiss it either because it’s not an Academy Award winner. It’s a light and silly movie, but man did these two really sell it. Their chemistry was absolutely fantastic. It’s not that the other adult actors were bad – Christopher Lloyd was actually a good Fester – but these two stole the show.

Of the two child actors, Christina Ricci was easily more memorable. She was extremely funny as the dark, disturbed, and amusing Wednesday Adams. That’s not to say Jimmy Workman was bad as Pugsley, but she just had more to work with. I actually thought he was a great sidekick. *Random trivia time* Jimmy Workman is the older brother of Modern Family actress Ariel Winter (Alex).

If you are in the mood for something to get you in the Halloween spirit, but on the lighter side, I recommend this. It caught me off guard with how amused I was by it.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on October 24, 2013.

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