The characters enjoyed in Charles Addams' cartoons on the television series in the 60's are splendidly brought to the big screen.
Paul Julia plays Gomez Addams and Angelica Huston is his beloved Morticia. With their children, Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Grandma, Lurch and "Thing," they hold seances to bring Uncle Fester back after a 25 year absence. Fester and his brother Gomez had a falling out and Gomez won't rest until he returns to their creepy home.
Greedy for a piece of the Addams' fortune, their crooked lawyer (Dan Hedaya - Blood Simple) plans a scam to palm off a phony look-alike (Christopher Lloyd - Back to the Future) as the long-lost Fester.
The funniest scenes are when the family is forced to move out of their home and get jobs to support themselves. Morticia gets a job as a nursery school teacher, reworking Hansel and Gretel so that the witch is the heroine and "Thing" gets work as a speedy Federal Express delivery man.
The sets are wonderful, a mansion with secret passages, trap doors that lead to underground waterways, complete with gondolas and a backyard sitting area in the midst of the family tombs.
The Adams's are like any other all-American family, except for a few quirks. Gomez likes to duel with the visitors, Grandma is fond of serving entrails for hors d'oeuvres and the kids enjoy torturing one another (the reason for the PG-13 rating.
Brilliant casting, especially Huston and Julia as the insatiable lovers and a fast-paced, fun script, makes a delightful beginning to the holiday season.
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