Gomez Addams is a cheerful man who loves gloomy things, and it would seem that the actor who played him, John Astin, wasn’t much different. In 1997 Astin played Edgar Allan Poe in a one-man show called “Once Upon a Midnight.” In an interview, Astin described his understanding of Poe’s philosophy:
Poe is trying to open our minds to the greatness of life, the richness of life.
Just to review. John Astin can look at this picture:
And see a guy in love with life itself. John Astin and Gomez Addams: Finding the bright side in the dark side.
The Addams Family, “Gomez the Politician”
Gomez decides to support a candidate in a city council election. Though Gomez enjoys his family’s history of backing candidates for elected office that lose, he doesn’t try to pick a loser. Reasoning that politicians never fulfill their campaign promises, Gomez chooses to support the candidate with the platform he likes the least. In this case it’s Sam Hilliard, who promises to drain the local swamps.
The Addams family’s endorsement costs Hilliard the rest of the city’s support. Hilliard tries to recover by losing the Addams family’s approval, but only endears himself to them further by admitting he does not actually intend to drain the swamps. Hilliard loses the election in a landslide.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
After discovering a fascinating subtext in The Santa Clause yesterday, I was eager to dive into the live-action feature adaption of The Grinch. I could faintly recall some clunky social commentary at play in this film. And of course the live action Grinch is infamous in general, though I remember kind of liking it when I watched it as a teenager.
To me, this Grinch is sometimes an enjoyably weird Jim Carrey vehicle and sometimes a dull, pointless expansion of the timeless Christmas special. As a full re-enactment of the Grinch cartoon began near the end of the film, I got the feeling that my favorite scenes from before, bits that felt like Carrey doing a one-man show as the Grinch, were just there to pad the movie out. Other filler, like the Grinch’s backstory and the introduction of a love triangle can’t even be excused by the presence of Carrey’s performance.
This version of The Grinch is also responsible for the song “Where Are You, Christmas?”, my personal least favorite Christmas song after “Christmas Shoes.” It can almost be excused by the deliciously over-the-top scenes of the Grinch being force-fed fudge and drinking egg nog from a beer bong.
When it’s not turning into a MADtv parody, which isn’t quite often enough, The Grinch becomes a dreary, bloated retread of its classic inspiration.
Gomez carrying Morticia over the threshold just because.
There’s just going to be a Gomez Addams scrapbook on my bookcase someday.