Parables III

film 3 of 5

Addams Family Values

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

A superb pre-title sequence contains & prefigures the strengths that put the entire film across: great design, wittily & self-consciously derivative technique, firm, broad comic performances that are just properly cartoonish without ever quite wearing; Raul Julia & Christina Ricci are especially effective;

Addams Family Values is dominated by an extended camp sequence (as in, the kids are sent to camp), that ends up being a fine, pointed and even angry parody of repressive wholesomeness; lots of goodnatured but quite pointed criticism here by an effortlessly amusing, gay activist screenwriter, which quite effectively lays out the so often superficiality & hypocrisy of that eponymous catch-phrase;

I like how Rudnick/Sonnenfeld never reject the idea or reality of those family values, but only defend the possibility of same occurring in unfamiliar or even weird guises.