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Critic's Pick

'Addams Family Values'

November 13, 1994|Peter Rainer

The kinetic, nutty 1993 release starts out with a full bag of tricks and keeps lobbing them straight at the audience for all of its 93 minutes. It never lets up--director Barry Sonnenfeld and write Paul Rudnick turns its assaultiveness into a comic style. With something this scattershot, it's inevitable that tedium would eventually set in, and it does, about halfway in. But there are still some good laughs--more than in "The Addams Family," where tedium set in with the credits. The film begins with the surprise announcement of Morticia (Anjelica Huston) to Gomez (the late Raul Julia, pictured) that she is pregnant. The movie's central joke is that the Addamses are lots more stable----they have better "family values"--then the straight-arrows on the outside (HBO Saturday at 8 p.m., next Sunday at 4:45 a.m.).

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