It’s that time of year again.The days are getting cooler and the nights are getting longer. It’s time to embrace everything that is creepy, kooky, and all-together spooky. Yes. Today, I’m going to review one of my most favorite movies ever. It’s time for me to review The Addams Family.
Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) and his family enjoy a happy life together. The children are doing well in school and get along as well as many siblings do. Yet, despite his idyllic life, Gomez is haunted by the disappearance of his brother twenty-five years ago. Enter opportunistic lawyer, Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) and his scheme to try and pay off his debt to Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson). Together they concoct a scheme to have Craven’s adopted son, Gordon (Christopher Lloyd), impersonate the long-lost Fester Addams in an effort to get access to the Addams’ vast fortune.
While the scheme works to a certain extent, faux-Fester finds himself more and more at home with the Addams’, much to the chagrin of Craven. Though the plot takes a few more twists and turns from there, including the eviction of the Addamses from their home. Still, everything turns out all right for the titular family. Yes, the movie is nearly a quarter of a century old, but I’m going to try to refrain from spoilers. Now, let’s get to the review proper.
There are a lot of reasons why I love this movie. I could go on and on about the cast and how perfect Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston are as Gomez and Morticia Addams. I could talk about how this was the launching point for Christina Ricci whose role of Wednesday Addams was an inspiration for me as I grew up. Heck, I was Wednesday Addams for Halloween once, complete with beheaded doll. There’s more to the movie than that.
There’s the score by Marc Shaiman that captured the sweet creepiness of the family. There’s the great color palette and style that captures the original feel of Charles Addams’ illustrations. The opening scene is totally grabbed from this picture. There’s the underlying theme of the importance of family. I’ll address more about that in my final thougts.
It’s a great movie to sit down and watch with your family and friends. It also holds up well after all of these years. That helps keep its quirky charm alive. If you haven’t watched this movie yet, what are you doing still reading this? You should go watch it. It’s on Netflix right now.
One of the things that I’ve noticed in a lot of recent family movies is that the drama is primarily internal in that it’s all about how dysfunctional the family is. They yell at each other, keep secrets, and sling insults. That’s not the case with The Addams Family. The main sources of tension come from outside of the family.
The Addamses are shown as a loving family. Gomez and Morticia are madly in love with each other while still being attentive and involved parents. They encourage their interests of their children and make sure that they’re appreciated as individuals. While audiences may find their ways unusual, the movie treats them as just a loving family with different customs.
Their family ties are shown as a direct contrast to the way Craven treats faux-Fester (who actually turns out to be the real Fester). Craven is cruel, manipulative, and abusive. She demands love and obedience. It’s obviously not a healthy relationship and the movie isn’t afraid of making that clear.
I think we should have more movies that display healthy relationships. We should prize those above the movies that claim to put the fun in dysfunctional. We need more Addamses.