Flashback Friday: Addams Family Values (1993)

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.

Do I recommend it? Yes.


Flashback Friday-The Addams Family (1991)

Normal is boring. The cookie cutter perfect family is like watching paint dry. It’s been done to death. Thankfully, audiences over the years have recognized this and have welcomed imperfect and slightly crazy television families into their lives.

That is where The Addams Family (1991) comes in to shake things up. Based on the 1964 television series, which was based on a cartoon, Gomez and Morticia Addams (the late Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston) are one of the wealthiest couples on the block. They also have a very interesting sense of macabre. When a con artist attempts to re-introduce Gomez’s long-lost brother, Fester (Christopher Lloyd), it looks like the con might work. But will the fake Uncle Fester have a change of heart before he can take the money and run?

Having never seen the original television show or the cartoon, I seem to remember fond memories of the movie. There is a rebelliousness to these characters, not caring what the neighbors think. To me, that is what makes this a standout movie. And course, what early 90’s film is incomplete without a theme song from MC Hammer?

I recommend it.

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