Throwback Thursday: “The Addams Family”

Halloween is quickly approaching but before then, I’m continuing with my childhood movie binge and this week, I watched 1991’s “The Addams Family.” In doing so, I realized that I’m actually more familiar with the sequel, “Addams Family Values”, because that’s the one that ran on a loop on ABC Family every fall. However, that one wasn’t available on Netflix so instead I watched the original.

I pretty much just do whatever Netflix tells me.
I pretty much just do whatever Netflix tells me.

“The Addams Family”, based on the cartoon by Charles Addams, tells the story of the eponymous family, headed by the patriarch, Gomez, who is tortured by the absence of his brother, Fester, after they had a falling out over conjoined twins.

Side note, isn't it a little weird that one of the brothers is named Fester?  I think we all know who the favorite child was.
Side note, isn’t it a little weird that one of the brothers is named Fester?
I think we all know who the favorite child was.
It wasn’t Fester.

The Addams family’s lawyer, played by the same actor who was Cher’s dad in “Clueless”, decides to take advantage of a family tragedy and use a couple of loan shark/con artists with a very Norman Bates-and-his-mother-type relationship to steal the Addams family’s fortune. The son poses as Fester and the mother pretends to be a psychiatrist who claims “Fester” has amnesia from spending 25 years in the Bermuda Triangle. Shenanigans ensue, lies and schemes are revealed, and it turns out that the supposed con artist is the real Fester . . . who really did have a case of amnesia from the Bermuda Triangle. The family is thrilled to have Fester back for real this time and they murder Cher’s dad and Fester’s faux-mother.

Umm . . . I guess not?
Um . . . I guess not?

Watching this movie as a kid, I don’t remember thinking much about the family dynamic other than being a little concerned that Wednesday Addams enjoys spending her free time attempting to kill her brother in an old-timey electric chair.

This is what we might call a "red flag."
This is what we might call a “red flag.”

As an adult, I find myself very much impressed by and enamored with them. Sure, they’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, and altogether ooky, but despite their quirks they actually have a model family dynamic. Consider the following:

1. Gomez and Morticia have a fantastic relationship. 

They’re incredibly kind and respectful of one another and, after decades of marriage and two kids, still have a voracious sex life. They are playful and sweet and are obviously very passionately in love. Additionally, I recently read a great article about how Gomez and Morticia exemplify an ideal BDSM relationship–the way it’s supposed to be, not all 50 Shades of Fucked Up Abuse. But I think what I like most about Gomez and Morticia is that in addition to their obvious infatuation, they are very supportive of one another and are true partners in their marriage. They protect and support one another while still keeping a (somewhat kinky) fire burning between them. We should all be so lucky to have a marriage like theirs.

Hallmark can suck it, this is way more romantic.
Hallmark can suck it,
this is way more romantic.

2. A multigenerational house . . .

I assume Thing isn’t in the picture because he’s holding the camera.

I feel like a lot of noise has been made in recent years about people having to move back in with their parents but honestly, this isn’t a weird family dynamic. It’s a popular practice in other areas of the world but in our country, for some reason, it’s viewed as a complete failure if, as an adult, you move back in with a parent. However, there can be a lot of benefits to living with family, both personal and financial. In the Addams family’s situation, Gomez and Morticia live with their children, Morticia’s mother, Gomez’s brother, a sentient hand, and, of course, Lurch. Add in a couple more kids and Bob Saget and it’s basically the cast of “Full House” but with more death and dismemberment.

3. . . . who really like each other.


Apparently the family that creeps out the neighborhood together, stays together.

Or pour boiling oil on Christmas carolers.
Or pours boiling oil on Christmas carolers.

All of the family members seem to be very caring of one another and have close, independent relationships with each person. Gomez and Morticia are very hands-on parents and are very encouraging of their passions.

I’m pretty sure giving your child a large weapon is a
legitimate component of some modern parenting style.
Free range perhaps?

The Addams family members seem to really enjoy each other’s company and appear to have a harmonious dynamic. In fact, it’s the “normal” people in the movie that seem to have the most screwed up relationships. Which, I’m sure, is the point–that despite all the dark and magical elements of their world, the Addams family is full of people who genuinely love and care about each other. 

Don't let the electric chair fool you, these two are best friends.
Don’t let the electric chair fool you,
these two are best friends.

Happy Halloween!

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