As a child growing up in the 90s, Christina Ricci’s portrayal of Wednesday Addams was everything to me. We acquired a VHS copy of The Addams Family from McDonald’s during a promotion for the film (yes, you read that right) and I watched it repeatedly. I don’t recall if I saw The Addams Family prior to that, or if I saw it after. I only recall wanting to be just like Wednesday, whose bland nature of calling out oddities was absolutely formative.
As an adult, Angelica Huston’s portrayal of Morticia Addams takes the proverbial cake. She’s intelligent, powerful, beautiful, determined. When Morticia is in a room, all eyes are on her.
Morticia Addams is a matriarch, through and through. Her loyalty lies with her family, and her family’s loyalties lie with her. She’s aware of everything — everything — that goes on under her roof. “I’m just like any modern woman trying to have it all,” she says. “Loving husband, a family. It’s just… I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.”
Me too, Morticia. But of course that’s not all. This strong, relentlessly fierce woman is an icon for a reason. And as an adult, I appreciate her far more than I did as a child. Take, for example, this beautifully subtle death threat from The Addams Family:
That look. That family history. Morticia’s incredible way with words. Everything she says sounds like poetry — even when she stands up for her daughter’s unconventional choice of hero during a parent-teacher conference. She’s frightening, in that way that raises the hairs on your arms and gives you little chills up your spine. You don’t want to mess with Morticia Addams. It might just be the last thing you do.
But unlike many other frightening women, Morticia isn’t coded as an unlovable hell beast. Gomez is obsessed with her. The two of them have a consensual S&M relationship, a loving marriage, and a family. They can’t keep their hands off of each other, and it’s honestly delightful. They talk about death, imbue everything with lust, and support each other endlessly. It’s awesome. I love it.
I rarely say fictional couples are relationship goals, but…
Thank the goddess for this perfectly-written woman. The older I get, the more I adore her. And I’m so into the fan campaign to reboot The Addams Family for a new generation. Morticia should inspire us all.