Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Adapting a classic work is hard to do. Adapting a classic work based upon another classic work is extremely hard to do, so it’s a wonder why Universal Pictures and Ron Howard decided to take it upon themselves in order to make a live-action version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I remember seeing this opening day at the Universal CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood as a kid and loving it. As I grew older, I started to hate it. At this moment, there are things I like about it, hate about it and absolutely loathe about it. Before that, let’s get a summary of the film.
Up on the summit high in Mt. Crumpet lives the mean one they call the Grinch (Jim Carrey). The Grinch looks above the town of Whoville as the Whos prepare for the Christmas season by buying gifts and devastating. Cindi Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) accidentally meets the Grinch face to face at the Post Office. With her curiosity in place, she goes out to investigate the background of the Grinch by interviewing the greedy mayor of Whoville (Jeffrey Tambor), those who raised the Grinch and the Grinch’s former crush Martha May (Christine Baranski) to doghouse he was trying to be raised in their tradition. Cindi Lou tries to convince the Grinch to come back to reunite with those who burned him by becoming Holiday Cheermiester. After deciding to do it, the Mayor pisses off the Grinch, this making him steal Christmas. Yet, could his heart of two sizes to shall grow big one again? You already know the answer.
The film has a ton of flaws, yet a few bright spots of hope. The costume design is stunning with excellent make-up effects that make the characters look exactly like Dr. Suess’ designs. The same could be said for the Whoville sets which are inventive and fun. Carrey gives it his all as the Grinch and seems to be having a great time despite the heavy amount of makeup he is under. The others actors are fine in their parts, but are severely overshadowed by Carrey.
However, these bright spots aren’t enough. The story leading up the Grinch’s stealing of Christmas may add an extra layer to the story, but it’s idiotic and pointless. Not ever villain in a movie needs a sympathetic backstory to make us feel bad. This is where Maleficent feel apart in. The reasoning for is actions are childish and sympathy goes out once he steals Christmas. The humor of this movie that isn’t Carrey’s, who mostly improvised his lines, is poor with jokes that a toddler would grow tired of. The CGI looks like a PS3 game and the forced song in the middle of the movie is cheesy.
The absolute worst part of this film is how this movie is directed and shot. This movie pisses nee of because everything is so vibrant, colourful and filled with imagination that it’s dulled by Ron Howard and possibly the Director of Photography’s decision to shoot it in a flat color. The use of Dutch Angles and extreme close-ups make the film a pain to sit through because it screws up an otherwise average film.
The Grinch is hit and miss with a whole lot of miss. If you want to show the kids the Grinch, show them the original as it is a much better adaptation, but show them this one to contrast it by during them a simply average adaptation.