By Tamara Bew (Cornwall, England, UK)
Based on Charles Addams original cartoons and the ever so popular TV show of the same name. Director Barry Sonnenfeld delivers a fantastic film adaption! I have a confession. I may have seen this movie a daft amount of times. I even went to see it live on stage last week! I love it! Gomez Addams has been trying to contact his long lost brother Fester Addams for years and decides on their 25th séance to try again! However is the man that turns up at their door really Fester Addams? Or an imposter? It has all of the same wonderful elements that the original show had. It’s absurd, eccentric and downright hilarious! Let me tell you, it’s just as incredible on stage as it is on the big screen! The late Raul Julia matches the description of Gomez Addams beautifully. Gomez is an ex-lawyer, a very unconventional man. Julia’s performance is fantastic, he has a very whimsical sense of humour that fits into the role of Gomez perfectly. I love the chemistry that he has on screen with Angelica Huston who plays his wife Morticia. Julia’s facial expressions are just as eccentric as his performance.
Morticia Addams, a witch who for the most part of the film is smitten with Gomez. Morticia believes her children can do no wrong. Simply don’t play with a small ax, play with an even bigger one! Houston’s deadpan performance is brilliant, Angelica matches the role of Morticia far better than Carolyn Jones did in the original show for me personally. Huston brings out a dark side of Morticia, a romantic with a very dark personality. Fester Addams is played brilliantly by Christopher Lloyd, an incredible character actor that brings 110% to each and every role. So where has Fester Addams been all these years? The Bermuda Triangle? The underworld? Who knows! Although the original character of Fester had a very high pitched voice, Christopher Lloyd naturally falls into the role with his marvelous performance. Again, like Morticia, Lloyd brings out a much darker side of Fester that we didn’t see in the show, I think it works, it adds a sense of mystery to his character.
Wednesday and Puglsey aren’t so convinced it’s their uncle! Played beautifully by Christina Ricci and Jimmy Workman. Wednesday is just like her mother, a deadpan expression that could frighten the strongest of personalties. Ricci’s performance, for a child actor is magnificent, she doesn’t crack a smile once. A mysterious character who obsesses over the Bermuda Triangle like a child does over their favourite toy. Puglsey is played very nicely by Jimmy Workman, just like the original character, he too matches the description perfectly. Unlike his parents and his sister, Puglsey has more of a happy outlook on life. The chemistry between Ricci and himself is excellent, a great pair as brother and sister on screen! Lurch however doesn’t speak a word throughout the whole film, it’s downright creepy, but absolutely perfect.
So, is the storyline like the original show? I’d say it’s a mixture of a few different episodes. I love that we see Gomez playing with his famous train set. The dialogue between characters is very tongue in cheek but then so was the original show. I love that Director Barry Sonnenfeld chose to introduce more characters, cousin it, Lumpy Addams and Fauna and Flora. Although they make an appearance in the original show, they are not mentioned often. It must be to some degree very difficult to adapt a show and a cartoon into a film without leaving bits out. As someone who is a huge fan of the original show, director Barry Sonnenfeld has done a magnificent job.
It’s quite astonishing how accurate everything is, to the original show. An incredible mansion that they call home. Dungeons, a gate that has a mind of its own, a polar bear rug that bites intruders upon entrance, secret bookshelves that lead to underground swamps, the production design for this movie is stunning! I really love that in each and every scene, there is something to look at, Fester’s room for example is brilliant. The creativity that Production designer Richard MacDonald put into the set is superb. It looks so authentic and genuine. The authenticity of the costumes are great, does anyone else wonder what else Fester Addams is wearing underneath his massive coat? I bet that’s one hell of a dry cleaning job? Beautifully shot and very well edited, it has that real family film vibe to it.
Marc Shaiman delivers a fantastic score that works beautifully alongside the movie. It speaks volumes about the characters and the storyline. An eccentric and dark score with a very nice modern twist to it. Of course, the film wouldn’t be complete without the amazing theme tune that we all know and love! The Addams Groove is one to look out for at the end of the film!