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The Grinch (2000)
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Review Date: November 15, 2000
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman
Producers: Ron Howard and Brian Grazer
Actors:
Jim Carrey as The Grinch
Taylor Momsen as Little Cindy Lou-Who
Anthony Hopkins as The Narrator
Plot:
The Grinch lives with his dog, up in a mountain, overseeing a town called Whoville, inhabited by the happy-go-lucky Whos. The Whos are a joyous folk, they love their Christmas and they are afraid of the Grinch. The Grinch doesn't like the Whos or Christmas for that matter, and upon this very evening, the Grinch has taken it upon himself to visit this little town, and steal Christmas away from the Whos.
Critique:
Your appreciation of this film will likely hinge on whether or not you enjoy the character of the Grinch in this movie, and for me, well, he just didn't click. Carrey did play the character brilliantly but I just didn't think any of his many shticks were funny. But I might be in the minority here because many audience members around me (mostly kiddies) were crackin' up quite some. To me, it just felt like Carrey doing his old MASK character in a Grinch suit. I'm also a huge fan of the original story upon which this film is based, and was quite disappointed with many of the over-the-top "Hollywood" additions to the film. Like the prerequisite "bad guy" in Whoville (where'd he come from?), the phony baloney romance with the Grinch (you'd think that they could've come up with a better back story than the fact that he was laughed at in school) and some of the kooky things that they made the Grinch say ("The sun is right, and the powder's bitchin"?). Brrrrrr. And what the heck happened to the classic "You're a Mean One" song?!? Yikes! Bells and whistles don't always make things better, folks. And despite a great "feeling" of Whoville all around, and solid effects to boot, I wasn't sure if everything in this movie was supposed to look like one big set filled with fake snow, or if that was just part of the whole Whoville lore (looking conspiciously like Disneyworld's ToonTown, I might add). But overall, I dug the "feel" of the film.

Mind you, it would've been nice to see more special effects added to the film, to give it that extra level of fantasy. Any-who, don't let me completely discourage you here because some of the elements in this film did work. I liked the way that the whole thing was shot, much like a cartoon, big and bulky and shiny and happy. I also loved the girl who played Little Cindy Lou-Who, she was absolutely adorable! And the narration was another highlight, hearing Anthony Hopkins deliver many of those classic lines felt just right. But overall, the film seemed to be produced for a new generation of Grinch fans. Children whose parents have stacked wallets to purchase mucho Grinch products! And that is something I certainly won't dispute...kids should really dig this flick! I don't generally compare remakes to their originals, as I feel that every film should be critiqued based on their own merits, but sadly I could not help but draw comparison here, seeing as this was based on one of my personal favorite childhood memories. Sigh. But even without those memories, this film simply didn't do enough to win me over. If you like Carrey's Grinch character in this film, with all of his one-liners, his exaggerated facial expressions et al, you will probably enjoy this movie for what it is. A frivolous sock-hop at the movie house. For me, the Grinch will always be that quiet, misunderstood green dude at the top of that mountain. The guy with a mysterious past, an uncertain future and a knack for meanness. Grinchy-poo, you used to be a mean one...now you're just a goof. Sigh. Cha-chink.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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