Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part XI

Score: Addams Family Values by Marc Shaiman (The American President)

About the film: There's a new addition to the family - the mustachioed Pubert. A nanny (Joan Cusack) happens along and she and Fester (Christopher Lloyd) fall in love. Meanwhile, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) end up at a nightmarishly perky summer camp. The rare sequel that is as good as the original (perhaps even better), this follow-up is terrific, thanks to Paul Rudnick's clever script and fine performances all around, especially by Cusack and Ricci.

Title: "Wednesday and Joel". The melody seems like a waltz, but its orchestrations (mostly woodwinds) indicate a certain unsureness about its romantic underpinnings...or maybe it leans more toward the nebbishy Joel (David Krumholtz). In any event, it's quite lovely, particularly toward the end of "Escape from Debbie".

Other themes of interest: One thing that must be commended about Shaiman's work on these films is his utter commitment; it's astonishing how many themes he created. There's the bouncy "Camp Chippewa" theme that forms the basis for a hilarious, album-exclusive song and is turned into an action melody in "Wednesday's Revolt". Pubert's five-note theme is introduced in "Sibling Rivalry" and becomes something of a march in "Debbie's Big Scene". Speaking of Debbie, there is a flighty love theme for her and Fester ("Debbie Meets the Family", "Fester's in Love"), as well as a menacing motif that bespeaks her true intentions (the beginning of "Escape from Debbie", "The Honeymoon is Over").

Availability: Varese Sarabande released this in late 1993, making it hard to find now, but might have some copies.


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