Addams Family Values

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Just in time for Thanksgiving comes this Addams Family sequel. The arrival of the newest addition to the family, Pubert, stirs up sibling rivalry as Wednesday and Pugsley try to chop off the baby's head and drop an anvil on him. Parents, Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Angelica Huston), decide to hire a nanny named Debbie (Joan Cusak). Cusak almost steals the show as a scheming psychopath who marries men, then kills them and steals their money. Debbie feigns love for Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), but soon discovers that Uncle Fester will be a little bit harder to kill than her previous husbands. At the same time, Wednesday and Pugsley are sent away to cheerful Camp Chippewa to contend with all the Pollyanna-like counselors and privileged children. Needless to say, Pugsley and Wednesday find it hard to fit in and would rather insult the other kids than get along with them. Its relentless spoof of any kind of moral values and its encouragement of anti-moral behavior will be a bit much for most viewers. This is not a movie for children under 13, and parents may find it a little grotesque as well.

These two ADDAMS FAMILY movies have made a science out of turning moral beliefs upside down. Fun poked at the stereotypical camp counselors who seem so happy but are really a little malevolent underneath is funny. But when the children bury a cat alive in a box and when the wedding car drags not only cans but a dead body behind it, it is not so funny. Mixed in with amoral messages is an abundance of sexual references, especially perverted references to rape and killing that, while supposedly "funny," miss the mark of good humor. Wednesday and Pugsley are shown violently taking over Camp Chippewa and roasting their camp counselors over a spit. To be happy is humorously shown to be deviant, but the underlying point seems to be that happiness is unattainable. Some occult matters and spells are portrayed as normal (for the Addams), and in the end the Addams are held up as a good family. Perhaps the strongest positive theme is that the socially outcast such as the Addams are in some ways more alive than their socially successful counterparts. But this message is lost in the violence and sexual references and make ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES not a family movie at all.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Paramount Communications, 15 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) times - Regular 1; Exclamatory 1

Violence: Several times - Moderate (cat buried alive, attempt to kill baby by throwing him off roof, cutting his head off, dropping an anvil on him, dart thrown accidentally down mouth, camp counselors comically roasted over spit, woman electrocuted).

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to intercourse, rape and masturbation)

Drugs: None

Other: Morality is depicted as boring and useless; occult activities treated humorously

Running Time:
Intended Audience: late teens/ young adults

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