Subversive comedy is in my mind, the best kind of comedy. While we are laughing, the gears in our brains are turning, bringing up questions that we might not otherwise ask.
Addams Family Values (1993) is the sequel to the 1991 film, The Addams Family. Gomez and Morticia Addams (the late Raul Julia and Angelica Houston) have just added a third bundle of joy to the family. Their elder children, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) are not exactly pleased to have a new baby brother. In the usual Addams Family style, they do everything they can do to get rid of him.
As many parents have done before them and will do after them, Gomez and Morticia hire a nanny to help with their little one. Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack) is supposed to take care of the baby. But while she is doing this, she is pretending to fall for Fester (Christopher Lloyd). The rest of his family knows that her feelings for her new fiance are merely an act. Can they stop her and reveal her true intentions before it is too late?
I was a preteen when this film was initially released, so some of the humor was above my head at the time. But looking at it with adult eyes, I find myself laughing. My favorite scenes are the ones in which the kids are at camp. When they dramatize the first Thanksgiving and delightfully shock the audience of white upper-class parents.
Ghost stories have been part of human story telling since the beginning of time. It is up to the writer to make sure that their ghost story stands out.
In the 1995 movie, Casper, Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) has just inherited her late father’s decrepit, crumbling mansion. Her plan is to burn the house down, until she discovers a treasure map. But before she can get her hands on the treasure, she is frightened out of the house by ghosts that have laid claim to mansion. Determined to get her hands on the treasure, Carrigan hires Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) to get rid of the ghosts. Joining Dr. Harvey is his daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Kat is befriended by Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson), the ghost of a young boy who is not as fearsome as the other ghosts.
While the other ghosts are doing everything they can to get the living out of their house, James and Kat are doing everything they can to get the ghosts to cross over. Who will win this battle and will Carrigan ever claim the treasure on the map?
As ghost stories go, this is rather PG. But that’s fine, this movie has just enough spook to make the audience jump, while still allowing them to sleep at night. It is also aimed at the tween/early teen set and deals with the trials and tribulations of that age.
The adult in me would say that this film is rather simple. However, I was just the right age when the movie hit theaters. For the intended age group, the film as a whole is not that bad.
Twelve is one of those ages that always stands out. At 12, we are in that in between stage of starting to grow up, but are still in a sense a child.
On November 1 1995, Now And Then hit theaters. It was the story of four best friends living in an average American suburb. The film takes place in two different time periods: 1970 when the characters are 12 and 1995 when the characters have grown up. Roberta (Christina Ricci/Rosie O’Donnell), Teeny (Thora Birch/Melanie Griffiths), Samantha (Gaby Hoffman/Demi Moore) and Chrissy (Ashleigh Ashton Moore/Rita Wilson) have been friends forever. They reunite to relive that memorable summer of 1970.
In Hollywood, it’s rare to to see a film where female characters, especially young female characters are the focus. It’s not about boys, it’s about their relationships with each other and how important female friendship is, especially at the age of 12.
I have fond memories of this movie and I absolutely recommend it, especially to young girls growing up now. It is worth the time to watch.
Curses are a funny thing. What we think of as curses can often be blessing in disguises.
In Penelope (2006), the title character, played by Christina Ricci was born into a wealthy family. But money, as the Beatles said, cannot buy me love.
Penelope is cursed. As with all fairy tales, the curse is only broken by true love. Penelope’s parents (Catherine O’Hara & Richard E. Grant) invite several young men to their isolated estate to break the curse, but the curse still holds. A tabloid editor, Lemon (Peter Dinklage) sends a down on his luck gambler, Max (James McAvoy) to find out the secret for Penelope’s disappearance from the world. But Max’s job becomes difficult when he realizes that his feelings for Penelope have become real.
What I like about this movie is that is more than the standard fairy tale with the standard happy ending. There is an aspect of self love and appreciating yourself before anyone else can. The message of self esteem and self worth is an important one, regardless of who we are or what we believe.
Being a girl on the edge of adolescence is not easy. Life, as we know it, will change.
Now And Then (1995), is the story of four twelve year old girls during the summer of 1970. The movie then flashes back and forth to the girls, decades later, reuniting as adults. Roberta (Christina Ricci as a girl, Rosie O’Donnell as an adult), Teeny (Thora Birch as a girl, Melanie Griffith as an adult), Samantha (Gaby Hoffman as a girl, Demi Moore as an adult) and Chrissy (Ashleigh Ashton Moore as a girl, Rita Wilson as an adult) are all best friends. What they do not know is that the summer of 1970 will be a turning point in their lives and forever affect who they will become as adults.
We all grow up, we all experience both the good and the bad the life offers. But for that short span of time that is early adolescence when we are in between being a child and growing up, it can be magical and life altering.