Review: The Addams Family

The Addams Family | Barry Sonnenfeld, 1991

Everyone has a few movies that they grew up loving and that even upon further viewings when one is mature enough to see the flaws one can’t help but love it. For me The Addams Family is one of those movies.

The movie, obviously based on the classic television show of the same name, follows Gomez (Raul Julia), Morticia (Anjelica Huston), Wednesday (Christina Ricci), and all the others members of the family in their dark, yet fun everyday life. The plot here is that they family has  not seen Fester (Christopher Lloyd) in over 25 year and Gomez feels bad about it because the last time they saw him they had a fight. They believe he is dead, and so when the movie starts it is the day of their annual seance to bring him back fro the dead. That day the family’s accountant, desperate for money, and having been refused some money from Gomez, comes across a man, the son of a loan shark, who looks a lot like Fester, and so he and the man’s mom set a plan to pass him up as Fester and infiltrate the family vault, and so on.

As I’ve said, now as a more mature individual I can see the flaws of the film clearly. The biggest  (a huge one that is), and the only flaw is that the movie pretty much has no story. Yes, it does follow that plot which I have just described, but the rest of the movie has Wednesday and Pugley misbehaving, Gomez and Morticia doing what they do, and lots of references to dark stuff. I felt like the movie was like a series of small vignettes dedicated to show us how weird the Addams are. That kind of bothered me this time around, but the rest of the movie is go good that I can overlook part of it.

The performances are one of the things that makes me love this film still. Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, and Christopher Lloyd are having fun and they have great chemistry together, particularly Julia and Huston. And just because they are having fun means that they are not giving it their all. They embody those character and they love every minute they spend playing them.

It is also a meticulous production. The sets, make-up, Oscar-nominated Costumes, the cinematography, all add to the world of the Addams without calling attention to themselves.

The Addams Family is one of my favorite childhood movies and one that I still enjoy today. Although I can see the flaw of it, nostalgia, great performances, and a great production still allow me to love every minute of it.

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