Addams Family Values
|Addams Family Values|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Barry Sonnenfeld|
|Produced by||Scott Rudin|
|Written by||Paul Rudnick|
|Music by||Marc Shaiman
|Edited by||Arthur Schmidt
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$48,919,043 (North America)|
Addams Family Values is a 1993 American supernatural dark comedy film, the sequel to the 1991 American film The Addams Family. It was written by Paul Rudnick and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and features many cast members from the original, including Raúl Juliá, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Carel Struycken, Jimmy Workman, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Hart. Included in the musical soundtrack is "Supernatural Thing" (composed by Haras Fyre) which was a chart success for Ben E. King. Compared to its predecessor, which retained something of the madcap approach of the 1960s sitcom, Addams Family Values is played more for macabre laughs.
Gomez and Morticia Addams have their third child, a mustachioed boy which they name Pubert. Wednesday and Pugsley are instantly jealous and make a few failed attempts to kill him. To try and remedy this, Gomez and Morticia hire a nanny, Debbie, to take care of Pubert. Unbeknownst to them, Debbie is a serial killer known as the Black Widow; she marries rich bachelors and murders them on their wedding night so she can collect their inheritances. She now intends to do the same to Uncle Fester to get her hands on the family's vast fortune.
After Debbie seduces Fester, Wednesday becomes suspicious. To get rid of her, Debbie tricks Gomez and Morticia into believing Wednesday and her brother Pugsley want to go to summer camp. They are sent to Camp Chippewa, run by the overzealous Gary and Becky Granger, where they are singled out for their macabre dress and behavior. Joel, a nerdy bookworm who also does not fit in, becomes interested in Wednesday.
Debbie and Fester are soon married. On their honeymoon, she tries to kill Fester by throwing a radio in the bathtub, but he survives. Realising he won't be as easily killed as her past husbands, Debbie decides to manipulate him with sex instead and forces him to sever ties with his family; when they try to visit Fester at Debbie's mansion, they are removed from the premises. At home, the Addams find to their alarm that Pubert has transformed into a rosy-cheeked, golden-haired baby. Grandmama diagnoses this as a result of his disrupted family life, and Gomez becomes depressed.
At camp, Wednesday is cast as Pocahontas in Gary's saccharine Thanksgiving play. When she refuses to participate, she, Pugsley and Joel are forced to watch upbeat Disney and family films. Afterwards, Wednesday feigns cheerfulness and agrees to the play. During the performance, she stages a coup d'etat, setting the camp on fire and sending it into chaos. As she, Joel and Pugsley escape, Wednesday and Joel share a kiss.
Debbie tries to kill Fester by blowing up their mansion. When he again survives, she pulls a gun and tells him she is only interested in his money. Thing intervenes and Fester escapes. Fester apologizes to Gomez for his mistakes, and Wednesday and Pugsley return home, the family reunited. Debbie ties the family to electric chairs, explaining that she killed her parents and first two husbands for selfish and materialistic reasons. Upstairs, Pubert, who has returned to normal, escapes from his crib and is propelled into the room where the family is being held. Debbie throws the switch to electrocute the family, but Pubert manipulates the wires, reversing the current and electrocuting her.
Months later, at Pubert's first birthday party, Fester laments Debbie's loss but is smitten with Cousin Itt's and his wife Margaret's new nanny, Dementia. Wednesday tells Joel that Debbie was a sloppy killer, and she would instead scare her husband to death. As Joel lays flowers on Debbie's grave, a hand erupts from the earth and grabs him; he screams and Wednesday smirks.
- Raúl Juliá as Gomez Addams
- Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams
- Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester Addams
- Joan Cusack as Deborah "Debbie" Jellinsky a.k.a. The Black Widow, a serial killer
- Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams
- Christopher Hart's Hand as Thing
- Carel Struycken as Lurch
- Jimmy Workman as Pugsley Addams
- Cheryl Chase (voice) as Pubert Addams
- John Franklin as Cousin Itt
- Dana Ivey as Margaret Alford Addams (Mrs. Itt)
- Carol Kane as Grandmama Addams (replacing Judith Malina)
- David Krumholtz as Joel Glicker, Wednesday's love interest
- Kaitlyn and Kristen Hooper as Pubert Addams
- Peter MacNicol as Gary Granger; he and his wife Becky are in charge of Camp Chippewa
- Christine Baranski as Becky Martin-Granger
- Mercedes McNab as Amanda Buckman
- Cameo roles
- Director Barry Sonnenfeld as Mr. Glicker
- Haley Peel as 10 year old Debbie Jellinsky in slideshow photos
- Julie Halston as Mrs. Glicker
- Cynthia Nixon as Heather, one of the potential nannies
- Nathan Lane as a police desk sergeant
- David Hyde Pierce as the delivery room doctor
- Sam McMurray as Don Buckman, Amanda's father
- Harriet Sansom Harris as Ellen Buckman, Amanda's mother
- Ian Abercrombie as a driver
- Tony Shalhoub as Jorge, a patron at the bar Debbie goes to
- Charles Busch as Countess Aphasia du Berry, an Addams family relative
- Peter Graves as the host of America's Most Disgusting Unsolved Crimes
- Uncredited as Sharon Jellinsky , Debbie Jellinsky's mother in slideshow photo
- Uncredited as Dave Jellinsky, Debbie Jellinsky's father in slideshow photo
Critics complimented the film with largely positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 78% based on 46 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original."
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wondered if "the making of this sequel was sheer drudgery for all concerned", then answered herself by writing, "There's simply too much glee on the screen, thanks to a cast and visual conception that were perfect in the first place, and a screenplay by Paul Rudnick that specializes in delightfully arch, subversive humor." Leonard Klady was slightly less enthusiastic in his Variety review, noting, "It remains perilously slim in the story department, but glides over the thin ice with technical razzle-dazzle and an exceptionally winning cast."
The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Art Direction (Ken Adam, Marvin March), and Huston was nominated for the 1993 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance as Morticia, a reprise of her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 1991 original. The film won also a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song "Addams Family (Whoomp!)".
Box office performanceEdit
Addams Family Values opened at #1 at its initial weekend with a reported total of $14,117,545. In its second week, the film dropped to #2 behind Mrs. Doubtfire, and in its third week to #3 behind Mrs. Doubtfire and A Perfect World.
Home media Edit
In Australia, the film was released on VHS by Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) in 1994. In 2002 the film was released on DVD with theatrical trailers in the extra features.
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- Leonard Klady (November 13, 1993). "Addams Family Values". Variety. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
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- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
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