Day: April 5, 2017

The Addams Family – What About Bob? – tape 1561

Some movies now, as a break from the law.

First, The Addams Family. This is an exquisitely made film, with great performances throughout the cast, and yet it’s not a film that I love. I don’t know why. Perhaps you needed a nostalgic link to the TV show. For me, I guess it’s just not funny enough.

The cast is perfect, though. Raul Julia as Gomez

Anjelica Huston as Morticia

The plot centres around Gomez’ brother, Uncle Fester, who had disappeared years before after an unspecified falling out with Gomez. He holds annual seances to try to contact his brother.

Dan Hedaya plays the Addams’ accontant, who’s in financial trouble of his own, and is desperate to get his hands on the Addams’ hoard of gold, to pay off debts to Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) and her son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd).

Hedaya realises that Gordon bears a strong resemblance to Fester, so they hatch a plan to have him shave his head, dress up as Fester, and make an appearance at the next seance.

He’s accepted back into the family without question, although young Wednesday (Christina Ricci) is suspicious.

Ricci is the standout in the cast, I think. The twisted humour in the situation really has an edge when she’s delivering it.

Weirldy, there’s even a slight replay of the forest attack from The Evil Dead, although it doesn;t end up the same way, thank goodness.

The film ends with the family accepting Lloyd as Uncle Fester, since he’s grown attached to them, particularly the children, and his own mother is so awful. It’s an odd way to resolve the story, but I guess it works to get the family back to their normal state.

One thing that does puzzle me though – why on earth MC Hammer (or ‘Hammer’ as he was calling himself at this time) was chosen as the recording artist best placed to provide songs for the movie. It’s as puzzling as using Prince in Batman. Totally a stupid studio move.

Next on this tape is What About Bob? a film which a friend of mine consistently gets confused with Regarding Henry.

Richard Dreyfuss is Dr Leo marvin, a successful psychiatrist, with a new book out, and looking forward to his holiday. A film crew is set to come to film him to promote his book while he’s there.

Just before he goes, he’s given a referall from a colleague of Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) who is ‘multi-phobic’ and is an extremely needy patient, who finds out where he’s going and follows him.

Dreyfuss tries to fob him off, but Murray talks to a couple running the store, and they tell him where Dreyfuss has his holiday home. More than that, they are eager to tell him because that was their dream house, and Dreyfuss, they feel, stole it from them. This is much more information than this scene really needs, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing these people again.

Dreyfuss tries to teach his son how to dive. Another non sequitur which will almost certainly become important later. His son is played by Charlie Korsmo, from Hook and Dick Tracy.

Sure enough, as Bob hangs around and gets to know the children, he even gets Charlie to dive properly.

 

Now, while we’re here, is it OK to talk about how this is another movie character who only gets away with all the things he does because he’s played by Bill Murray? Venkmann in Ghostbusters is another one. His behaviour would set off alarm bells most of the time, but because he’s Bill Murray, and because Dreyfuss is so stuck up and humourless, we think it’s OK.

I’m overthinking this, aren’t I? This is a ridiculous black comedy, with good performances from Dreyfuss and Murray, not a realistic portrayal of serious mental issues, so I think I should let it go.

After this, there’s a couple of interviews, with Steven Spielberg and Sylvester Stallone about Jurassic Park and Cliffhanger respectively.

After this, the recording stops.

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