Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Less a movie than a cynical, market-dictated merger of profitable brands, the aggressively charmless How The Grinch Stole Christmas seems poised to replace Santa Claus: The Movie and Return To Oz as Hollywood's foremost desecration of a beloved childhood icon. In a career-worst performance, Jim Carrey mugs, screams, and flails his way though his title role as the legendary Yuletide misanthrope, a nightmarish ghoul who looks like a pot-bellied, feral Muppet and talks like a speed-addled Edward G. Robinson. Director Ron Howard aims for the beautifully stylized mayhem of Frank Tashlin and Tim Burton, but he comes closer to the clamorous, headache-inducing visual overkill of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies, as he pits Carrey against the horrifyingly ugly, rat-faced mole-people of Whoville. Seuss' justly revered book contains only the slightest wisp of a plot, so Howard and company inject a new second act in which Carrey is disastrously named Cheermeister Of Whoville, allowing for such decidedly non-Seussian antics as a giant explosion, a sub-Robin Williams impression of a flamboyant gay hairstylist, and Carrey inviting the people of Whoville to kiss his ass. A soulless travesty of a movie, Grinch finishes desecrating Dr. Seuss' classic text roughly half an hour in, when it's revealed that Carrey's misanthropy is attributable in part to a pubescent shaving accident. It then proceeds, undaunted, down the path to becoming one of the worst films of a year that's shaping up to be artistically for Hollywood what 1929 was to Wall Street. Everything about Grinch feels horribly wrong, from Rick Baker's inadvertently disturbing make-up to the design of Whoville (which looks like the world's ugliest, most garish theme park), to the treacly Faith Hill song that accompanies the end credits. Given the simple, elegant, anti-materialist message of Seuss' book, there's cruel irony in Grinch becomes just another piece of mercenary, opportunistic Christmas product to be consumed mindlessly and forgotten instantly.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter