I haven’t watched this movie in at LEAST a decade, but have always loved it so so much, and since it’s on Netflix Streaming I decided tonight was TIME FOR A REWATCH!
Obviously I knew I would enjoy it, but I was actually surprised at how well it’s aged (a handful of dubious third-act special effects aside), how gorgeously it’s styled and designed, how every member of the cast brings it in every scene, and how kind of remarkably progressive and thoughtful the story and its message are.
Wait why is this credits sequence set to “Carol of the Bells” OH MY GOD I FORGOT THAT THE LITERAL FIRST SHOT YOU GET OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS IS THE WHOLE FAMILY PREPARING TO POUR BOILING OIL ONTO THE HEADS OF CHRISTMAS CAROLERS
We need to discuss how the insanely detailed cuckoo clock of the family has a mechanical Gomez bending down and literally kissing Morticia’s breasts AND THAT IS THE FIRST POST-CREDITS SHOT OF THIS MOVIE, WHICH IS OSTENSIBLY FOR CHILDREN
Part of the journey of this movie rewatch is me getting used to Thing again. He sketches me out in the beginning but by the end he was my hero.
First real shot of Gomez: velvet smoking jacket, fez, satin pajamas, thoughtful reminiscences about Uncle Fester. First real shot of the sibs: Wednesday with a crossbow, shooting apples of Pugsley’s head. First real shot of Morticia: STRAIGHT-UP SILVER SCREEN SIREN BEDROOM REALNESS.
Lurch sending them off to school with their lunches!
“Don’t torture yourself, Gomez. That’s my job.” THESE TWO STRAIGHT-UP JUST BANG ALL DAY LONG WHILE THE KIDS ARE AT SCHOOL, DON’T THEY
Morticia arranging flowers by cutting off the actual flowers and just putting the stems in a vase is like the most iconic scene from this movie to me.
OMGGGGGGG I forgot that Dana Ivey and Dan Hedaya were in this movie!!!
Honestly Gomez’ weapon room is my favorite part of the house. And his velvet pants game is consistently on point.
Truly, the pairing of Anjelica Huston and this character goes down in history as one of the most inspired choices in the history of casting.
I love that the lawyer and his wife are their only normal friends, and they show up for séance night rocking this hilarious combination of sheer bloodcurdling terror and weary “This again” sighing.
The thing we don’t discuss enough is that this whole fake-Uncle-Fester scam to rob the family of their fortune hinges on the fact that Gomez is, like, this incredibly heartfelt and loving brother, and the warmest person in this entire movie. Sure, he’s a low-level asshole who hits golf balls through his neighbor’s window for fun, but he’s also just like THE LOVELIEST PERSON WITH THE BIGGEST HEART AND I JUST LOVE GOMEZ ADDAMS OKAY
Morticia speaks French = Gomez gets a boner. Even at the breakfast table. Surrounded by their entire family.
The whole Gomez/Fake Fester bromance montage is sensational. There’s a trapdoor in the floor and a twisty slide and a jaunty ragtime theme song and a gondola through a foggy underground lake and brandy snifters the size of basketballs and hilariously adorable home videos
TEEN GOMEZ WAS JEALOUS OF TEEN FESTER’S WAY WITH THE LADIES BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN THIS MOVIE IS BACKWARDS
oh my god the charity auction I FORGOT ABOUT THE CHARITY AUCTION, I FORGOT ABOUT THE PART WHERE THEY GO OUT AMONGST FANCY WHITE PEOPLE, omg you guys the auctioneer at the charity auction says something about the proceeds going to support the elderly and mentally disabled and Grandma Addams gives this PRICELESS little bow of acknowledgement like “thank you, thank you all so much”, and it’s PERFECT, and then M and G get so turned on outbidding each other TO BUY THEIR OWN THING BACK that Morticia LITERALLY has an orgasm in the middle of the auction house, IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHILDREN’S MOVIE, I love this all so much I’m basically dead now
“Oh no, Father’s playing with his trains again” I LOVE THIS FAMILY AND HOW WELL THEY KNOW EACH OTHER’S “I’M IN A BAD MOOD” HABITS
We need to talk about the set dressing in this movie, which is top-to-bottom perfection in all scenes and at all times, but my favorite subtle little touch so far is the grandma stirring something at the stove with well-loved copies of both The Joy of Cooking and Gray’s Anatomy open in front of her, which is an INSPIRED choice
There is a tiny alive human man just casually reading a paper inside Gomez Addams’ toy train set and it is never explained or referenced again
Morticia taking Fester for a sinister late-night stroll down memory lane slash the family graveyard is boss for three reasons. 1) No bitch rocks a black velvet cape like Anjelica Huston rocks a black velvet cape; the good Lord knew what he was doing when he gave her those cheekbones; 2) Because she and Gomez have the actual best marriage in all of children’s film (FIGHT ME ON THIS), she is taking matters into her own hands and pleasantly informing Fester that she will murder him to death if he hurts her man; and 3) The Addams family motto is apparently “We Gladly Feast On Those Who Would Subdue Us,” which I want on a t-shirt.
I snort-laughed at the look on Morticia’s face when Grandma is going through the big book o’ spells and listing problems that come up with husbands and mentions adultery, and Tish is like “HA HA NOPE”
Say what you want about the Addams kids’ education, but they are NAILING their Shakespeare in their practice swordfight.
Guys I had forgotten SO MUCH of the plot of this movie! I forgot how much Fake Fester starts to really love Wednesday and Pugsley just as he begins to realize that his own mom, who put him up to this scam, is a total monster. He wants so badly to go to the school play instead of robbing Gomez’ vault for his mom! He wants to go be the uncle! MY HEART
Gomez is never not wearing velvet, and I’m here for it
Oh god the kids are so hurt that Uncle Fester isn’t coming to the play, MY HEART V2.0
Wednesday’s teacher is showing off the class bulletin board where all the kids posted pictures of their heroes, and Morticia’s barely-concealed disdain at Jane Pauley and President Bush is my everything. BUT WAIT YOU ASK, WHAT WAS WEDNESDAY’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEROES BULLETIN BOARD “Ah, Wednesday’s great-aunt Calpurnia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They said she danced naked in the town square and enslaved the minister. But don’t worry – we’ve told Wednesday, college first.” THIS MOVIE IS REFRESHINGLY FEMINIST
MORTICIA: *sees cute kid in elf costume* “what is he, a lizard?” I LOVE YOU
As a kid, my favorite part of the talent show scene was watching Wednesday and Pugsley expertly declaim Shakespeare while just geysering fake blood all over themselves, the stage, and the first five rows of the audience. As an adult, my favorite part is how at the end of their scene, the whole Addams family leaps to their feet (INCLUDING FESTER!!!), whistling and cheering and shouting “Bravo!”, giving no fucks about any of the people around them, like, everyone in this family is just so proud of each other all the time???? and it is honestly like SO INSPIRING????
Hi just popping in to inform you that Wednesday’s ornately-carved bed in which she sleeps in a corpse pose has a Cthulu I DON’T HAVE TIME TO CHECK THE SPELLING painted on it, so once again A+ SCENIC DESIGN
We need to take a second over the fact that Gomez and Morticia have a soft, comfy-looking makeout couch in the middle of their graveyard, and you know they do it out there like nine times a week. (Honestly my Addams headcanon is that they are literally just CONSTANTLY having sex.)
HOW THEY MET: “A boy … a girl … an open grave … It was my first funeral.” “You were so beautiful. Pale and mysterious. No one even looked at the corpse.” I SHIP IT LIKE FEDEX
Okay pause before we get to the ballroom scene where Gomez and Morticia destroy me by waltzing to discuss how actually like this movie’s moral messaging is sort of remarkable in its nuance and complexity for a children’s movie???? Like you have all these upstanding, pillar-of-the-community-seeming people who are conniving, manipulative sociopaths, and you have Fake Fester’s mom playing mind games with him and treating him like dirt, and yet every single one of them is using “the Addams family is evil and corrupt” as justification for their actions. So you have the lawyer and the rich neighbor and the asshole mom conspiring to rob Gomez of his fortune, by taking advantage of Gomez’ genuine adoration and love for his brother. And meanwhile the Addams family, who from the outside look to “normal people” like straight-up sociopaths, are kind and loving and supportive and warm and have this incredibly strong familial bond. And then you get to the ballroom scene, about which the BEST PART (besides Morticia and Gomez waltzing, about which I literally am unable to even because it’s so swoony) is the fact that the ballroom is PACKED FULL OF OTHER WEIRDOS HAVING THE BEST FUCKING TIME. So the perception that their run-down, remote, isolated, crumbling house might give you – that they’re socially-isolated loners – is totally false. They have this huge, vibrant, loving community full of traditions and celebrations and so much love and HONESTLY THE ADDAMS FAMILY IS SQUAD GOALS AF, HOW DO I MARRY IN PLEASE THANKS BYE
This Film Is a 1991 Period Piece, Part 1: Cousin It rolls up blasting “2 Legit 2 Quit” in his car.
“Why, Lumpy Addams. Look at you. All grown up.” And Morticia just singlehandedly introduced Wednesday’s teenage cousin to boners.
It makes perfect perfect sense that crafty little Wednesday is the first one to figure out that Fester is fake, but it’s a lovely touch that her first reaction isn’t anger or even triumph at catching them; she’s so hurt. DON’T MAKE WEDNESDAY LET DOWN HER GUARD AND START TO LOVE YOU AND THEN SNATCH IT AWAY
Add to the list of Morticia’s excellent qualities which prove her to be a better human being than everyone else in the whole movie: she is an incredibly gracious host. Just watch how elegantly and charmingly she greets her husband’s conjoined-twin ex-girlfriends. SHE IS FLAWLESS
OH MY GOD, THE RUSSIAN DANCE, I FORGOT ABOUT THE RUSSIAN DANCE! FESTER AND GOMEZ DOING THE MAHMOUSHKA, THE TRADITIONAL ADDAMS FAMILY DANCE OF BROTHERHOOD, I’M DEAD. God, Raul Julia was a treasure. I’m so glad they let him sing and dance in this movie.
MORTICIA PLAYS THE VIOLIN, I’M DEAD
We need to discuss the fact that Gomez and Fester are Addamses by birth which means obviously that Morticia married into the family, which means she was raised by regular humans about whom I have LITERALLY INFINITY QUESTIONS
Cousin It wooing the slimy lawyer’s frustrated wife is one of the few parts I remember with crystal clarity and it is AS GREAT AS I REMEMBERED. Dana Ivey is a national treasure.
Awww, fake Fester loves being an Addams SO MUCH and his passive-aggressive manipulative mom is HAAAATING IT because now he’s conflicted about robbing the family vault and now she’s guilt-tripping him so hard and she is *Jean-Ralphio voice* the woooooooooooorst
GAHHHHH, Pugsley napping under the giant silver banquet dish! Dead of cuteness! I just want to hug him. Also baby velvet smoking jacket. PUGSLEY, NEVER STOP LETTING YOUR DAD CHOOSE YOUR FORMALWEAR
And as if I wasn’t already dead enough of cuteness, Wednesday falling asleep in the crypt and her daddy just scoopin’ her up to carry her home just made my ovaries explode.
BUT WAIT, THE ASSHOLES CAME UP WITH A BACKUP PLAN, THEY’VE SEIZED THE HOUSE, THEY MADE FESTER ISSUE A RESTRAINING ORDER, THIS IS THE WORST, except the props designers were once again geniuses with the scene where we see the family sadly packing up the car after they get kicked out. Grandma is schlepping her cauldron, Lurch is carrying a literal tree, Thing is hauling a red wagon full of hilariously perfect things like one leather glove and a stack of different books whose covers are all an illustration of a single human hand.
Okay I legit thought that the part where they had to go live amongst civilians was Addams Family Values, but no, here they are at the crappy motel, and here is Morticia hilariously interviewing for jobs at an employment agency, and here are Wednesday and Pugsley at their lemonade stand where Christina Ricci utters what is forever her best single line of dialogue:
Sweet heavenly Jesus, how did I forget that the job Morticia gets hired for is CHILDREN’S STORYTIME AT THE LIBRARY, THIS IS THE BEST PLOT DEVELOPMENT OF THIS OR ANY MOVIE
The montage where Thing works for FedEx and is amazing at his job though
This Film Is a 1991 Period Piece, Part 2: Disconsolate, unkempt Gomez eating Fritos on the couch in his undershirt, watching Sally Jessy Raphael and her GIANT 90′S GLASSES
We don’t talk as much as we should about Morticia Addams’ role in popularizing the mermaid hem
LOL at these idiot villains trying to get Morticia to cough up the location of the hidden vault by using the torture equipment. Guys, it’s her torture equipment. That’s just a regular Tuesday for her and Gomez.
A good snapshot of what it’s like to be Gomez Addams is that even when breaking into a building full of armed enemies to rescue your wife from peril, it is CRUCIAL to have a snazzy satin vest. A BLACK TURTLENECK AND A KNIT BALACLAVA? WHAT ARE WE, ANIMALS????
Oh my God Morticia is strapped to the torture wheel and Gomez is so turned on. “Leather straps? Red-hot pokers?” “Later, my dear.”
The ONE piece of this movie that hasn’t aged well – emotionally satisfying though it may be to watch the asshole mom finally get what’s coming to her – is the CHEESEBALL AF animated special effects with the hurricane and lightning coming out of the book. It looks like someone did it in MS Paint.
Oh my God, lay me to rest and bury me, I am dead from the cuteness of Pugsley dressed up as Uncle Fester for Halloween
“And where’s your costume, sweetheart?” “This is my costume. I’m a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.” NEVER CHANGE, WEDNESDAY
Guys I LITERALLY forgot that the twist at the end was that it turns out he was the real Uncle Fester (with amnesia!!!) all along! I LOVE IT SO MUCH, HE’S SO HAPPY, THE FAMILY IS SO HAPPY
And of course their family’s favorite Halloween game is running around digging up dirt in the graveyard and shouting “Wake up! Wake up!” to the corpses.
And cut to black on Gomez and the (pregnant!) Morticia, making out like the sexiest motherfuckers you’ve ever seen in your life, in the doorway of their spectacular house.
IN CONCLUSION, THIS IS THE ACTUAL GREATEST MOVIE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME