'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' (2000) - A Movie Review
'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is one of my favorite Christmas films!
Make sure that the Grinch doesn’t steal any of your Christmas decorations this season. He’s a mean one!
Based on Dr. Seuss’s children’s story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is about a cynical and lonely grinch living far away from the Christmas festivities in Whoville. The Grinch thinks up an evil plan to steal Christmas from the residents of Whoville.
I still remember seeing How the Grinch Stole Christmas in theaters when I was only five years old. This live-action film absorbs the famous story of the Grinch into something more, capturing a new essence. No matter how many times I have seen it, I am always laughing or discovering a new moral.
Nobody like Jim Carrey could have performed the cynical Grinch like he did. Due to the prosthetic make-up and his thick furry costume made from yak hair, Carrey had a difficult time getting through this film. Being the trooper that he is, Carrey brought out a stupendous, comedic, and heartwarming performance. I loved all his improvisations including when he is looking through his schedule.
What I liked about Taylor Momsen’s performance as the sweet Cindy Lou Who is how the film expanded her small role from the story. The film brought out a bold story arc about a young girl who is trying to understand Christmas. Momsen was great, never backing down, and turning into a stoic little girl. Her song “Where Are You Christmas?” is a delightful and quiet song.
The town of Whoville is feverishly sending out presents, preparing for Christmas lighting contests, or having wild parties. The ensemble of actors was great including Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and the final film appearance of Josh Ryan Evens who played the Grinch as a little kid.
I have to give a shoutout to Kelley, the four-legged dog who played the Grinch’s faithful companion, Max. The friendship between the Grinch and Max is very important and in my opinion, is one of the most underrated parts of the story. The film should have had a little backstory for them. How did these two meet and become friends?
Countless extras did an impeccable job bringing out the Christmas spirit. I liked the subplots added to the story. They don’t feel useless. When I was young I found the makeup of each Who off-putting. Now, the style is the signature of the film.
I am so thankful that the movie wasn’t CGI which was the filmmaker’s original plan for the film. The sets are stunning and unique. I actually feel as if I am a member of Whoville living in a crowded town during the busy Christmas season.
One element that director Ron Howard exceeded in was the story. He added important character development to the residents of Whoville that resonated with an important message about Christmas. Howard succeeded in this visually stunning film, expanding the story from the twenty-two minute short that has been watched by many generations.
The signature scene of the Grinch stealing everything from each house is one of the best scenes that capture the famous book by Dr. Seuss. That and the ending is touching.
The holidays are overwhelming. Oftentimes, we do forget the true message of Christmas. Aside from presents, spend time with your family. Spread Christmas cheer to those who are having a difficult time instead of leaving someone out from the holidays.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas may not be everyone’s cup tea, especially with the adult humor. This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Give the film a chance this Christmas season and have a laugh.