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This review is from: The Addams Family [DVD]  (DVD)
Who doesn't know the Addams Family? Creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, as the song goes. A seemingly indestructible family of gothic oddballs who contrast with the rest of the world. This time, a pair of con artists dress up a patsy as Gomez' long lost brother Fester, in order to be able to get their hands on the Addams' wealth. Of course, this plan goes anything but smoothly...
Barry Sonnenfeld's (Men In Black) debut is brimming with great little dark jokes, both visual and verbal, in keeping with the family's iconic roots on paper and TV. These are supported by a manic yet also ethereal score by veteran Marc Shaiman, and a game cast on top form. Of note are the late great Julia and Huston, making a perfectly adorable/fascinatingly disturbing Gomez and Morticia, while Christopher Lloyd and a young Christina Ricci embody their respective roles flawlessly. In particular, the latter's dry humour leads to some of the film's best moments as she plays a young, disinterested psycho who is wonderfully straight faced in the face of all the madness.
Now of course, it's not all witches and bats: its resolution may come across as cheap fan-pleasing, given the changes they made to Fester in the context of this story, and I'd be lying if I didn't feel that at points the plot sort of vanishes just for the sake of the elaborate gags and tangents on the family's dynamics with each other, especially with Gomez and Morticia going on and on about how much they love each other. However, at least these aren't boring, and frankly, a comedy that actually focuses on well thought-out laughs is worth some respect.
Regardless, it still makes for a quite fun time, and a much more digestible dark comedy than most out there, especially for novices.