GET TO THE COOLIDGE to learn some ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
Every so often this summer, Wag The Movie will be suggesting any Boston-based fans make it out to what’s probably the coolest theater in New England: The Coolidge Corner Cinema, located at 290 Harvard St, in Brookline, as they do their Summer Series of @fter Midnites and Big Screen Classics.
If you’re interested in what else the theater will be playing, hit them up at coolidge.org
When I was a kid, every single movie I looked forward to was something exciting and it made going to the movies similar to going to an amusement park. It made movies events. No where is this more evident than in the 90’s film versions of The Addams Family.
My father had always been a fan of the TV show, and when the movie came out, it became something to look forward to with him. Due to reasons I don’t remember, we didn’t see it in theaters, but we did have all sorts of merchandise (including Addams Famil cereal that was the best cereal I’ve ever had. I miss that shit) and me and him spent a good chunk of the summer at the local arcade playing The Addams Family themed pinball machine. Eventually he surprised me by renting the VHS of the film, and we sat down, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Then the sequel came out, and again I missed it in theaters, but again, waiting to watch it was something I vividly remember and I couldn’t wait for. As a kid, I thought the movies were funny and had lots of sight gags that stuck with me, but I didn’t really understand what was going on until I re-watched them much later.
Both films are very well done satire, taking what Charles Addams did in his drawings and bringing them to life with some stunning visuals and good laughs. The films tear society apart, making the way real people live a total joke to the members of the Addams clan. The best use of this is without a doubt the summer camp material in Addams Family Values. Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to camp at the behest of Fester’s new love interest to get them out of her hair, and when they arrive, they find themselves in their version of hell. Everything is cheerful, chipper, and most importantly, fake. Nobody is real in the camp, everyone putting on a fake smile or mask of friendliness that doesn’t exist. The camp counlers are deeply angry people who are aggressive towards those who might even think of questioning their methods, and the campers are all rich little snobs, pretending to like each other, when in reality they’d rather be spending their parents money. The weird kids at the camp are closest thing to reality the campy has, and they are led by the Addams kids. This is amazing, and hilarious, and at the same time, it takes a direct stab at a segment of culture that is really ludicrous and needs to be jabbed. Of course, it’s kind of dated, as it feels very 90’s, but the film has lots of good stuff to make up for. Joan Cusack is a standout as Debbie, a black widow killer after Uncle Fester’s money, and we have the usual good stuff from all the returning cast members.
The Addams Family movies were a huge part of my childhood, and I am glad people still look back at them fondly, as they are really awesome flicks. The film will screen as part of the @fter midnight series at The Coolidge Corner Theater this coming Friday and Saturday. Tickets are on sale now at the box office and coolidge.org. Be there or else.