The Addams Family Reviews
Departing from the source material, the film begins with the titular clan having a seance to commemorate Gomez's estranged brother Fester who, following a terrible argument, disappeared 25 years earlier. Fester does make his return, but not all is as it seems, as what's really going on is an attempt to steal the Addams's vast fortune by using an imposter to pose as Fester.
So, right off the bat, I gotta say: the plot sucks. It's nothing special, and really weak. It's easily the weakest aspect here, as this film is otherwise quite entertaining and fun. The film is primarily driven by gags, whether it's just the characters being morbidly offbeat and funny at home or when they're dealing with 'normal' society.
That's the cool thing here. The cartoons and show highlighted the clash between the family and outsiders, but the film really hammers home that satire and commentary, thanks in no small part to some occasionally sharp and witty writing, and especially some great performances from and awesomely chosen cast.
I think the film gets a little too bogged down sometimes with the impostor plot, but I guess they had to come off with some sort of plot to make this work as a film, so, really, this could have been worse. When the film is just focused on the character moments though, it's a lot of fun.
The art direction, set design, and costumes are awesome and compliment the atmosphere, mood, and tone perfectly. It's a nice blend of gothic aesthetics that adds a sometimes timeless, or at least vintage air to things. As for the cast, Raul Julia is a scenery chewing delight as the patriarch Gomez. Anjelica Huston is a more subtle, but seductively compelling character as his wife Morticia, and then there's Christopher Lloyd as the would be Fester. He's sometimes unrecognizable, but he does a good job in a somewhat tough role. Christina Ricci was practically tailor-made for Wednesday, and, I feel the need to give special praise to Christopher Hart who does a great job as the severed hand Thing, who is something of a pet for the Addams family. Playing more normal characters are Dan Hedaya as the family lawyer, and Dana Ivey as his wife. They're both decent. Elizabeth Wilson plays the con woman who uses her son to play Fester to infiltrate the family, and, while she does have a few scenery chewing moments I like, I don't think she's that good of a character.
This is a film I'm quite partial to, having watched it many times over the years. My love for it has waned a tad, but I still dig it a lot. During the 1990s, there was a slew of movies adapted from 60s television shows, and, while this one has it's problems, it and it's sequel are clearly on the high end of the scale as far as these adaptations go.
Many incarnations of Addams creation have come and gone, most of which have all turned out pretty well and this film from Rudin is no exception in my view.
With a perfect cast of character actors just shy of being oddballs themselves this film is brought to life in a sweeping gothic spooky style that compliments the original source material to a tee. In my view Julia IS 'Gomez' and will always be, his ball eyed lunacy and sharp pin stripe suits are spot on as is his pencil thin moustache giving him that great suave caddish style.
'They say that a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. And, with God as my witness, I am that fool!'
All the family are correct and present with outstanding performances from Lloyd as 'Fester', Huston as 'Morticia', Workman as 'Pugsley' and newly discovered Ricci as the chilling emotionless 'Wednesday'. Add to that great backup from the rest of the cast including some neat effects to create 'Thing' which really does look quite good even today. Some nice hands on makeup/effects to bring 'Cousin Itt' to life without the use of CGI. In fact this old film is a testament to how good effects can be with good hard work and craftsmanship. The Addams Mansion is clearly a model in some shots but they seemed to build a huge set also! its gorgeous! really really makes a difference instead of relying on the dreaded CGI monster.
I really do love this film as, in my opinion, its a great adaptation of the source material and sticks to what works, its fun for all the family whilst retaining a nice balance of kooky, spooky ghoulish looks and humour alongside some lovely set work, character makeup and costume.
If you like 'The Addams Family' then I'm confident you would enjoy this version, the plot is simple and works well as Rudin doesn't go over the top. A lovely musical score and some quirky visual moments all add to a fun filled halloween creepy comedy. The 'Addams rap' song in the closing credits is also surprisingly cool.
'Don't torture yourself Gomez...that's my job'
Okay, I guess that the main problem with the film is just the direction. I mean, the main story of Fester returning to the Addams after so many years is presented well enough, but there are so many elements that scream that the director was trying to make this into a huge theatrical experience (mainly with the ending). The rest of the film was okay, but the ending confrontation just felt a little off. I get it that the Addams will always be for one another, but how it was staged was not at all what I would have liked. Glad they were able to keep some of the dark humor intact.
The other main problem I had with this film is that one of my favorite parts was not developed as much as I would have wanted: the Addams in the real world. There is a part in the film that involves the Addams being thrown out of their home and trying to make it as real people. Those scenes were probably the best in the entire film. However, those scenes I wish would have been more developed. To me, they just scratched the surface and never got that deep into anything. What we do see is not only hilarious, but insightful as to how clueless and lost our macabre clan is without their home and family. In all honesty, that is one section I wish they would have shown more of.
I know I have been bashing this film, but trust me when I say that there is a lot of good with this film. Mainly with the cast. At my core, I will always adore the original cast that made up the Addams. But this film does what all film adaptions of a television series needs to do: appropriately update the look of the characters. My favorite of them all has to be Wednesday Addams. In the show she is shown as a little sweet, innocent girl. Here she is completely brutal and down right horrifying for a little girl. That is one of the main updates I like. The other is the performances by Raul Julia (Gomez), Angelica Houston (Morticia), and Christopher Lloyd (Fester). The reason why these three stick out is due to how much they become their character, how believable they are, and to top it all off how much fun they make the film. With the casting, they were spot on for almost every character.
The other thing that does make this film enjoyable is the attention for detail. One of the things that made the show wonderful to watch was how extreme the background and details were. Things like moving plants, odd noises, bizarre family members, all of that is present. If you do adore details in film, then this is a film that will require multiple viewing for you will miss certain elements here and there that just enriches the entire experience.
So, in retrospect, this film has great nostalgia value, but as a critical piece, there are some elements I wish that could have been improved on. Now, is this film worth watching? Without a doubt: yes it is. Granted, it is lacking in some areas that would have been wonderful if fulfilled. But, for what it is, it is pretty good.
R.I.P Raul Julia.
Charles Addams, an American cartoonist, created The Addams Family in the late 30's. It is one of the oldest comic strips published and a classic television series and two major motion pictures have been made to honor the comic. 'The Addams Family' was made in 1991 and it remains as one of my childhood favourites.
There are several differences between the television series and the films. I'm not going to go in to details but I can surely say that it didn't bother me at all. Most of my generation don't know that much about the Addams', anyways, I presume.
Gomez Addams, the head of the family, is longing for his long lost brother, Fester. he has not seen him for 25 years and what bothers him very much is that they did not part in a good way. All of a sudden, a man who resembles Fester very much comes to their door. Gomez is at first more than happy but it turns out that Fester may not be Fester after all...
The family is full of eccentric and gruesome persons. They all seem to have some sort of supernatural powers and a tendency to practice the occult. This is what I like about 'em. The humor is very dark and may not be suitable for small kids. I was 13 years old at the time I saw 'The Addams Family' for the first time. I purchased the VHS and pretty much ruined it because of repetitive viewings. At a local video store there was a pinball machine with the Addams'. I mastered it, spent all my weekly allowance and gained the first position. I loved the film that much!
The visual image of 'The Addams Family' is dark and detailed. Everything is very gothic but so it should be. The production values of the film is top-notch and one of the strongest factors in the movie, alongside the lead performers as well.
Raul Julia, the Puerto Rico born actor, is perfect in his role. He really gets Gomez Addams to become a strong person on screen. Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams gives an equally strong performance and the chemistry between the two is pure lightning.
Christina Ricci, in one of her first feature film roles, plays the part of their daughter Wednesday. She is so goddamn cute in her role as the expressionless gothic princess. I remember her always because of this part and not her later works.
'The Addams Family' was a success at the Box Offices. A sequel came out two years later but it did not gain the same success as its predecessor. Raul Julia's death also ruled out a third probable film. But in overall, 'The Addams Family' holds a special place in my heart because of several good memories that I have of the family Addams. 20 years later I still recommend this well aged film to you all.
"To live without you, only that would be torture.
- A day alone, only that would be death."
and enjoyable movie wortht the watch!
In the early '90's the first burst of TV shows adapted to film began with stuff like Coneheads and the Beverly Hillbillies. The Addams Family came out of that batch and is probably the best of the bunch, though it sticks more toward the Charles Addams comic strip than the TV show.
The film stars Raul Julia as Gomez and Angelica Huston as Morticia, living with their macabre brood that is much off kilter to present day society. The film follows and unscrupulous plot by Gomez's lawyer (Dan Hedya) and a woman he owes money to (Elizabeth Wilson) in which her son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) poses as Gomez's long lost brother Fester to gain access to the Addams Family vault.
A pretty straight forward story that is given great detail in the dark, dank cinematography throughout the film. You can't really underact in a film like this because all of the characters are larger than life, including the morose Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci in a role she was born to play). It's a fun little romp that you can't take too seriously but doesn't dumb itself down like other family oriented comedies out there.