How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

"Very Good"

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Review


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (a film which should otherwise need no introduction whatsoever) reminds me of that strange Christmas feeling that hits about five minutes after all of the presents have been opened. It's that indescribable longing for more, even if nothing's really missing. There's so much expectation, so much buildup, that somehow even though you're satisfied, it's not quite enough.

Jim Carrey is fabulous as the titular Grinch, that much is sure. His trademark physical antics fit "the mean one" perfectly, without stealing the heart from one of Dr. Seuss' most notorious characters. He proves that he's up to the tall order of balancing two larger-than-life personalities: himself and the Grinch. The delicate mix that Carrey strikes -- giving just enough of himself to the role without obliterating the creature in the process -- is really the beauty of his performance.

Overall, the film stays true to the message of Dr. Seuss' original 1957 story and the 1966 animated version, although there's a good deal of stretching required to make it feature-length. In this version, from high atop Mt. Crumpit, the original killjoy is positively disgusted with all the Whos in Whoville and their happy buzzing in preparation for Christmas. So he decides to go incognito to town, in an attempt to muddle things up a bit, where he runs into Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), who's struggling with her own doubts over the true meaning of Christmas. Intrigued by this chance encounter, Cindy Lou embarks on a mission to discover The Grinch's past, interviewing all the Whos who've known him and filling in a childhood that Dr. Seuss left up to our imaginations.

At this point, the film rejoins the familiar tale, albeit dressed spectacularly in computer animation and with the minimum number of mature references to keep parents entertained. With wonderful costumes and sets made of pure fantasy, The Grinch should leave most viewers feeling warm and fuzzy. The only thing you shouldn't expect is to be surprised, which I must admit I was kind of hoping for.

Aka Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On DVD, Jim Carrey's outtakes/gag reel are some of the best scenes in the film. That dog is nuts, man!

The loneliest number.



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