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Addams Family Values
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie takes the original Addams Family cast to its logical extreme -- and that means more violence (often involving newborn Pubert), more sexual innuendo, worse language and a lot of themes that are just too much for kids. Even so, the dialogue remains extremely witty.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The Addams Family is back in this sequel in which the children's jealousy of new baby brother Pubert leads to the hiring of an evil nanny named Debby (Joan Cusack) with designs on Uncle Fester (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) sent to a snobbish summer camp and marries Fester, things look grim. Finally, Debby the nanny is exposed, the children get to come home, and Pubert becomes his old Addams self again.
Is it any good?
More complex and just as witty as the first film, this one is also more disturbingly violent and sexually insinuating -- too much so for the youngest ones who might enjoy the first movie. Joan Cusack is marvelous as the greedy black widow, and the addition of Pubert to the family offers a lot of laughs, especially when we learn how much his parents are enjoying Morticia's painful labor. However, a lot of violent action (with too-near misses) involves him, and some parents might feel uncomfortable with it.
The scenes at camp are among the movie's cleverest. Youngsters who have felt isolated at camp will identify entirely as misfits Wednesday and Pugsley struggle in a world of conformist blond snobs. Although the action here occasionally drags, the other campers and the enthusiastic, uncomprehending counselors make great foils for the Addams children's macabre revenge. Again, some parents might find that the humor goes unnecessarily far. And it's a satisfying relief when the family members are reunited, and return to their bleakly cozy mansion.
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