Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Sometimes you sit down to a
movie, and just wonder,
"What were they thinking???"
The total failure of this movie is even more surprising,
because it is directed by Ron Howard, who normally is very savvy in picking projects. But, the film version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas would be horrible
even if it weren't completely upstaged by the 35-year-old cartoon version of Seuss'
... mostly remembrances
of how the Grinch was teased by the Whos as a little boy... is totally ridiculous. The Grinch doesn't need a backstory! He doesn't need a motivation to hate Christmas!
He's the Grinch! That's all the insight we need. But, say, you really
need to justify his irrational hatred of the Whos.
Then, all you have to say is that his
shoes were on too tight, his head wasn't screwed on just right and his heart was two sizes
too small. First of all, the story fits perfectly in a 23 minute cartoon, so why would
you want to pad it out to an hour and 45 minutes? The padding
Also, where did the filmmakers come up with the idea that the Whos were
greedy, vain and bad? It's certainly in bounds, I suppose, to re-imagine a classic
it seems just wrong to blatantly reject the rules it set, just to make the Grinch more cuddly. In fact, Jim Carrey's whole take on the role -- the Grinch as an angry
frat prankster, littering the screen with sub-vaudeville one-liners
-- is just annoying.
Speaking of annoying, did I mention how they turned Cindy Lou Who into a precocious
little rebel without a cause? Or the totally made up love interest (Christine Baranski)? Or the truly ugly scenery? Or the sub-Seuss attempts to pass off
their own lines as those of the original poem?
But the most repellent thing
about this film is that a story that is supposed to teach that "Maybe Christmas
doesn't come from a store" is so blatant in it's attempt to become a merchandising
franchise... to sell Grinch action figures and Who bedsheets. Save yourself an hour of
your life and endless frustration, just watch the original cartoon again, instead of this
big screen roast beast. (12/00)
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright © 2000
All rights reserved. Revised:
November 25, 2017.