Welcome to the ultimate creepy and kooky, scary and spooky, they live their lives like every day is Halloween, the Addams Family!
Honestly, this movie couldn’t have been any better if they tried. Raul Julia was the perfect choice for Gomez, with his dashing charm and sincere adoration for his family; everyone simply drools over Angelica Houston as Morticia in that skintight black dress; and hey, it’s a young Christina Ricci as Morticia-in-training, Wednesday! We have the mute Lurch doorman of course, Pugsley in his prison stripes, a finger-skating Thing, and an amazing Christopher Lloyd channeling Doc Brown as the long-lost Fester!
So Tully Alford, the Addams Family lawyer, along with his gold-digging wife Margaret, have joined up with a loan-sharking con-artist named Abigail Craven (there’s those name clues again) to attempt to fleece the Addams clan for all the bullion they’re worth! How, you ask? By sending in a look-alike for Gomez’ long-lost-for-twenty-five-years brother, Fester, to gain access to the family vault! What none of them counted on is the unconditional acceptance and even love the Addams all show false Fester, who begins to have doubts about what he’s really doing here!
And that, boils and ghouls, is the heart of the matter, and what makes this film so adorable and enduring: unconditional and accepting love. Yes, the family graveyard is full of psychopaths, fiends, and mad-dog killers, as Morticia so proudly informs Fester when she gives him a reminder tour. Morticia even shares the family motto, “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc,” or rather, “we gladly feast on those who would subdue us.” They’re not just pretty words. Yes, the children give a decidedly bloody demonstration of Shakespeare at the school performing arts night, when they’re not trying to maim, poison, or otherwise do damage to each other. Wednesday’s school hero portrait is of Calpernia Addams, burned as a witch in 1706, and you should see the look on the elementary school teachers face when Morticia informs her that Calpernia danced naked in the town square and enslaved a minister. We even get treated to a whole dance night of the entire Addams clan when they hold a welcome-back party for Fester: Lumpy the hunchback, the Amore conjoined twins, the incredibly hairy Cousin It, and Fester and Gomez perform the Mamushka, the dance of Brotherly Love! All these things are gloriously dark and gothic and strange, but the love of family overflows in every single unique part!
This world, full of racism and classism and hatred of all things misunderstood, could learn a thing or five about acceptance and unconditional love from that most unexpected source, the Addams Family!