Steve Simels
May 06, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Addams Family Values

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
94 minutes
performer
Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christine Baranski, Joan Cusack, Dana Ivey, Carol Kane, Christopher Lloyd, Cynthia Nixon, Christina Ricci, Carel Struychen, Jimmy Workman
director
Barry Sonnenfeld
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Paul Rudnick
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B

There’s so much right about this second installment of the Addams chronicles that one almost hates to carp, but here goes: The script bites. Yes, writer Paul Rudnick comes up with great gags (Gomez to Fester: ”Someday you’ll meet someone special someone who won’t press charges”); yes, the effects are great; and sure, the actors are all world-class scene-stealers. But the villain here—a black widow killer played by Joan Cusack—is not just a cliche, she’s as unreal a character as the Addamses themselves. Without believably normal types as foils, this kind of comic-book Grand Guignol gets real tired real fast.

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