Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin
Cindy Lou Who: Santa, what’s the meaning of Christmas?
The Grinch (dressed as Santa): VENGEANCE! Er, I mean… presents, I suppose.
The Grinch steals all the Christmas stuff in Whoville.
Actually, they make the plot a lot more complicated than I’ve described so eloquently up above. That was one of my problems with it. It’s overlong and over plotted. In the original story, the Grinch was just an overly grumpy character who didn’t like all the noise in Whoville and wanted to ruin Christmas for them. In the movie, at first it seems like they want to say he’s been mean since birth, but then we see a whole story about how he was picked on and not accepted by a lot of the Whos. In fact, the real villain in the movie seems to be the Mayor of Whoville. He’s all about commercializing Christmas and making sure the Grinch is seen as the monster he’s perceived as. The mayor is the one who originally picked on the Grinch so much when they were kids that he ran away to his mountain top home.
The whole thing felt like a Batman villain origin story actually. It also kind of looked like it too. There’s a Tim Burton darkness to the look and feel of the movie that didn’t seem appropriate for the subject matter. It seems like it should be magical and mystical and Whoville should be beautiful, but it just looks like a bunch of grungy sets. Plus, the Grinch makeup looks sorta like that thing that Dan Aykroyd turned into at the beginning of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Scary.
And why are the Whos so into the commercialism of Christmas? In the original story, they were the true-hearted ones who taught the Grinch what Christmas was all about. In this movie, the Grinch actually chastises the Whos for being all about gifts, gifts, gifts! Only Cindy Lou Who wonders if there’s something more to Christmas than the giving and receiving of gifts.
In the end, it’s just too thin of a story to stretch out over a full length movie, so it’s filled in with lame back stories and a boatload of Jim Carrey’s usual overblown antics. I’d stick with the animated version. It may be 3 sizes smaller than the movie version, but it’s certainly got more heart.
Christmas is about family, not blah blah blah, etc…
10 – 2 for just not having a very pleasant look overall – 2 for some poor choices in changing up the story – 1 for being overlong and not all that funny = 5.0