How the Grinch Stole Christmas-If You Don't Like Christmas You're an A-Hole
If you can get pass the premise that if you do not like Christmas then you are a monster, well, this is a great film. If you can't get pass that obnoxious core element, then you may want to look elsewhere for entertainment. The message that if you don't like Christmas you are pretty much a hateful a-hole, in desperate need of rehabilitation is pretty offensive, but hell, so much of what Hollywood produces is offensive. What are you going to do? That said, The Grinch will probably go down as a classic, while there are some pretty irritating aspects to the film, it borders on being a masterpiece in a variety of ways.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas places us in a fantasy world populated by odd creature, the least of which is Jim Carey's Grinch. This was a role that Carey was simply born to play and he really knocks the ball way, way out of the part as he steps up and infuses the Grinch with a phenomenal level of life and energy. Combined with exceptional art direction, visual and special effects, costuming and great direction by Ron Howard, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the best films in recent years and one of the best films of 2000.
Based on the long adored Dr. Seuss work, the script by Price and Seaman is a fine adaptation of how the lonely and rejected Grinch desires to see Christmas destroyed and it is only the affection of one Cindy Lou that saves Christmas in Whoville. Although this adaptation is definitely solid, the real stars of the show, like so many of Hollywood's recent hits, are all the hard working people who put forth tremendous efforts in creating the look and feel of Whoville and the entire film. The art direction by Lauren Polizzi, whose previous work included The X-Files and The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Dan Webster who worked on Species both deserve an amazing amount of credit, for which they have probably not received enough. The same can be said for the set direction by Merideth Bosell and costume design by Rita Ryack, who also later worked on The Cat in the Hat. Without spot on jobs by these folks How the Grinch Stole Christmas could have been far less effective in transporting the audience effectively into Whoville. So hopefully industry pros truly appreciate your contributions and the contributions of everyone who obviously worked very hard behind the scenes.
The Grinch excels because most are already familiar with the story, its a family film and it has an awesome performance by Carey. All of these elements combine to produce a film that, when released during the holiday season, had hit written all over it.
Perhaps the largest surprise of all concerning How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the fact that the film, while a great box-office hit, pulling in over $300 million dollars globally, was not even more successful. I know for a fact that many industry insiders were expecting larger numbers and it is surprising that, with all the film has going for it, Grinch isn't one of the top grossers of all-time. In this regards, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is something of a puzzle, perhaps we will soon see a 3D re-release of the Grinch, now that would be interesting.
Story A (The screenplay is well done and is a fine adaptation of Seuss' work.)
Acting A (Jim Carey is simply awesome.)
Visuals A (Very visually rich and intense.)
Originality/Innovation A/B- (In terms of originality, this is a script based on a Dr. Seuss book, so while the adaptation is well done, let's face it much of ground work was already laid out. However in regards to the look and feel of the film, which is highly innovative, Grinch scores an A.)
Enjoyability Grade A
Home Theater/HD Factor A+ (This will look amazing on next-gen DVD and high-definition broadcast. Grinch is one of those films that will make you happy you spent the money to buy that high-definition television set.)
Overall Grade A