Saturday, October 8, 2022

REVIEW: The Addams Family (live action movie)

The Addams Family is a supernatural black comedy movie originally released in 1991. It's based on a cartoon created by Charles Addams and a 1964 TV series. I think I bought my copy brand new.


Tully Alford, the Addams family's lawyer, pays them a visit in the hope that they'll provide him with the funds he needs in order to pay off his loan shark, Abigail Craven. It doesn't work out, but the visit and his realization that Abigail's son, Gordon, strongly resembles Gomez Addams's brother, Fester, does give him an idea. He convinces Abigail, who's also a con artist, to have Gordon pretend to be Gomez's long-lost brother, returned from the Bermuda Triangle, so that he can figure out the secret to getting into the Addams family vault.

Gordon is initially horrified by the Addams family and its weird and sometimes terrifying quirks, but he gradually grows to like them. Unfortunately, that means he must somehow choose between his mother and the Addams family, with the knowledge that, if the Addams family discovers he isn't who he says he is, they may cast him out.

I'll probably watch the new Netflix show when it comes out, but I suspect it will only work so-so for me at best, simply because the cast of this movie is the Addams family of my heart. I have no personal connection to the comic or original TV series and no clue how well the cast members of this film represent those versions of the characters. It doesn't matter - for me, this is the Addams family.

The makeup and acting are perfect. Raul Julia's manic energy as Gomez, Anjelica Huston's elegant Morticia, Christina Ricci's creepy Wednesday, and Jimmy Workman's darkly mischievous Pugsley. I loved all of them. The movie's pacing was occasionally a bit odd - Gordon went from being terrified of the Addams family to fitting right in in the space of what looked like just a few moments. But I appreciated how well the movie balanced its odd, creepy, and comedic elements, resulting in an Addams family that was charming and likeable despite their occasional murderous moments.

I had completely forgotten this movie's plot, so this rewatch was fun on several levels. At some point I need to see about rewatching Addams Family Values.

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