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When it was released in 1993, the second installment of the Addams Family Adventures had only mixed success. Very damaging for this black comedy, which nevertheless does not lack qualities.
Forget. That’s the word. We had forgotten Morticia, Gomez, Fétide, Mercredi, Pugsley and Puberty. Yet in 1991, the Addams’ first adventures in cinema had amassed nearly $ 200 million in worldwide box office receipts. Adapted from the television series of the same name which aired from 1964, itself adapted from the comics by Charles Addams, the first film by Barry sonnenfeld concealed all the qualities of blockbusters families of the time. Short, well paced, efficient and funny. Also, sufficiently well written so that children and adults will benefit from it. Its sequel released in 1993, THE VALUES OF THE ADDAMS FAMILY, had a more timid success with revenue four times lower.
This sequel has, so to speak, hardly marked the spirits – all the same more than The Addams Family: reunion, ignoble third part released directly on video in 1998. However, THE VALUES OF THE ADDAMS FAMILY stands the test of time much better than its illustrious predecessor. There where The Addams Family first of the name respected in every way the specifications of the family entertainment of the early 90s, its sequel dares to emancipate itself a little to offer a less linear story and more detailed and successful situation gags. Because in this lies all the salt of the adventures of the Addams. See this family of freaks from another time to wander in our modern world in peace, like an ultimate provocation.
Stronger and more daring
THE VALUES OF THE ADDAMS FAMILY turns out to be crazier, more hysterical. Regret Raúl Juliá cabotin like never before and embodies a Gomez Addams on the edge of madness, alongside a Anjelica huston definitely insane in Morticia Addams. This second film also leaves more room for secondary characters to express themselves. Notably the main antagonist, Debbie Jellinsky, played by a Joan cuzak sexy as hell. Where in the first part, the opponents of the Addams family seemed to make up, Joan cuzak bursts the screen in his role of hysterical psychopath, desperate to eliminate Uncle Fetid. This, with the aim of robbing him of his fortune after having duly seduced and married him.
In addition, the Addams Children are entitled to their own movie segment. Pugsley’s and Wednesday’s vacation at Camp Chippewa proved to be in every way enjoyable. Definitely designed to see Christina ricci shining as an impassive little gothic girl, this arc singularly confronts the values embodied by the Addams family with a certain wealthy American class. There is a clear critique of mainstream racism in the United States, where well-born white children prevail over ethnic minorities. An extraordinary representation of the oppressed, the Addams always manage to turn the situation to their advantage. And Mercredi, as a perfect heiress, stands up against the established order, to the point of setting fire to the charming spectacle of the campsite… In a diatribe on the exploitation of native Americans as grating as it is hilarious.
Of humor, THE VALUES OF THE ADDAMS FAMILY never lack. However, this is perhaps what will have disconcerted its release. The film is indeed tinged with a much darker humor than the previous one. The moral sense of the Addams is in all respects relative. So much so that Debbie Jellinsky does not seem to us, to tell the truth, so unsuited to their universe. Notwithstanding, perhaps this is all the subtlety of the feature film. As soon as she arrives at the Addams’ house as a housekeeper, the adults of the family greet her with delight. Even after submitting Fetid to her will, Debbie is praised by Morticia for her perversity. Also, during the grand finale, the Addams concede to her all the atrocities she has committed. In reality, Debbie’s only mistake was not having perceived that she too belonged to this world of freaks that she despises.
Despite its qualities, the film suffers, however, from some laziness in writing, which makes the resolution of the twists and turns, to say the least, expeditiously. The adults manage in particular to get out of the death trap set by Debbie, thanks to a chain reaction initiated by Puberty, the youngest of the family. This, with a lot of roller skates and accidentally dropped cannonballs. Note, however, that in this, THE VALUES OF THE ADDAMS FAMILY more respects the spirit of the series of the 60s. Whose comic was actually based on the ability of the Addams to fly over any difficulty through chance. Chance often due to the magic surrounding their mansion, which seems to protect them from any external aggression. Seen thus, the end of ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES logically seems less sloppy. It is still necessary to have the reference – not very obvious! – to comply …
• Original title : Addams Family Values
• Production : Barry sonnenfeld
• Scenario: Paul Rudnick, Charles Addams
• Main actors : Anjelica Huston, Raúl Julia, Christopher Lloyd
• Release date : December 22, 1993
• Duration : 1h34min