October 26, 1991 -- ``The Addams Family'' has gotten off to one of the hottest starts in Hollywood history and may well end up being the top moneymaker of the year. Although the film would have benefited from a more coherent plot and more credible villains, it excels in atmosphere and the leading characters are brilliantly played by a fine cast of actors.
Topping the list are Raul Julia (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Romero) and Anjelica Huston (Prizzi's Honor) as Gomez and Morticia Addams, Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as the child Wednesday. They all do a great job.
The audience has certain expectations of this film and it does not disappoint. Of course the film will be compared to the television show, which is still seen in syndication and occupies a warm spot in many people's hearts. While the film depicts the family in that same sort of out-of-kilter mind set as did the television series, this Addams family has more of an edge and the humor is blacker, at least most of the time.
The quality of humor varies from very black to very silly. The film's plot is a lot thinner than grandma Addams' eye of newt soup. The story centers on some con artists trying to steal the Addams fortune with the aid of a fake Uncle Fester. It's a half hour television plot stretched out to three times that length. Various vignettes are spun off the weak central story from time to time, seemingly at random.
Despite these faults, the film is fun and it is entertaining in its own strange way and it probably will do well at the box office. It's strengths are good acting, good cinematography and excellent sets. On the school test scale, this film rates a C, a passing grade.
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