As a rule, I don’t like film remakes, but what this film did to the wonderful Dr. Seuss classic with Boris Karloff should have been a crime. How The Grinch Stole Christmas is the worst movie that Ron Howard has ever put his name on. He apparently was totally unsuited to do a movie that begged for someone like Tim Burton or Zwigoff. The TV Grinch special is a film that I dearly love and never get tired of. It is timeless, uplifting and never gets old. I also like Jim Carrey, so I had more than moderate expectations for this movie. Boy, was I disappointed.
Jim Carrey gave this movie his all. His performance was over the top, but the butchered and much too involved backstory made him come off as churlish and annoying and there was not the fulfilling redemption of the original Grinch classic. Just about everything about this movie was bad, but the creepy portrayal of the Whos and cheesy and unfunny gags helped more than anything to seal the fate of this failed and bloated movie. Like I wrote, everything in this movie is bad, from the tedious script and Carrey’s makeup, to the smarmy sets which are horribly overdone.
Other than Carrey as the Grinch, the focus of the movie was on the other main character Cindy Lou, an annoyingly overly cute little Who who in predictable fashion is the only character able to see through the glitz and glitter of the saccharine Christmas revelry. Most reviewers, trying to sieve something positive out of this movie, find her to be cute and adorable, I did not. The rest of the Whos fared little better as their persona and lines were no better than their hideous costumes, which made them look like rodent renditions from The Planet of the Apes. The only character in the movie that was watchable was Max the Dog and this was because he had no lines.
I would go into the plot and memorable scenes in this movie, but since the plot did not resemble the original Seuss classic, and is best forgotten, I won’t. This movie was more infuriating than annoying, and here is why. I’m not talking about the $12 bucks spent for tickets or the lost two hours, that is just part of the risk that you take when viewing almost any movie. What was most infuriating is that 100 million dollars was wasted, not to mention squandering the efforts of a fine director. It is infuriating because you know that nothing like this will ever be attempted again. It was a wonderful opportunity to make something meaningful and watchable and instead we got a steaming pile of you know what. It is small consolation, but consolation none the less, to leave with the knowledge that the TV classic will live on long after the movie Grinch is forgotten.