The Addams Family
At its core, this is an enjoyable, adult animated film masquerading as children’s entertainment.
While I have confessed that I watch very little TV, that was not always the case. I was attracted to this film because of my love of the TV series under the same name that ran from 1964-1966.
While it was followed by several films, I will never forget the magnificent performances of John Astin as Gomez, Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, Ted Cassidy as Lurch, Carolyn James as Morticia and Lisa Loring as Wednesday. Though the great Angelica Houston, Christina Ricci, Raúl Juliá and Christopher Lloyd later appeared as Morticia, Wednesday, Gomez and Uncle Fester, this artistic creation has always found a safe haven in my heart.
Here, we watch our family of misfits locate an abandoned asylum on the top of a hill as their new home. It was as beat up and disheveled as this iconic group and they loved it as a result.
Unfortunately, troubles quickly develop when a nasty television real estate developer voiced by Allison Janney sees them as a threat to her attempts to develop a new housing addition. Using the internet to develop fake news in the same fashion the Russians did to influence our 2016 Presidential election, Ms. Janney organizes an emotional mob who threaten to destroy our eclectic heroes’ home.
This movie is filled with emotional surprises, and it begins with the contributions of Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron as Gomez and Morticia. While Gomez finds joy in nearly everything, Morticia is an intellectually distant woman who views happiness as keeping her children separated from the rest of the world.
And it was here that the film came alive and found its strength. Chloë Grace Moretz proves to be the focus of the entire film, playing the daughter Wednesday. Demanding to attend a public school over her mother’s objection, she soon becomes a close friend of Ms. Janney’s daughter Parker, played with force by Elsie Fisher. As these two young girls fight criticism on multiple levels as they seek to unite opposing forces, they provide moments that are extraordinarily funny, particularly when they change hair styles and clothes that horrify their mothers.
While other great actors such as Bette Midler, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Snoop Dogg add to the film’s emotional allure, the musical score adds to the strength of this wonderful film. Done by Jeff and Mychael Danna, the music will leave you frequently dancing in your seat.
Make sure you stick around for the film’s conclusion as you will likely end up singing the theme song along with snapping your fingers:
“They’re creepy and they’re kooky.
Mysterious and spooky.
They’re altogether ooky.
The Addams family.”