Saturday, January 12, 2013

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Dr. Seuss, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon
Rating: PG
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!!

I'm still wayyyy behind on these. I'm so far behind that I'm not 100% certain of the order anymore..but here goes anyway!

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time. I've always been a big fan of the cartoon, and (even though I was only 11 at the time) I was skeptical when they announced that they had made it into a live action movie. As an 11 year old at the theater, I was amazed. As a 23 year old at home, I still marvel at some of the fabulous film-making exhibited on this project. 

I've had access to this movie ever since I can remember, as we received the VHS tape immediately following its release when we (my brothers and I) were younger. When we got older, my mom gave our VHS tapes away, and my younger (middle child) brother and I both acquired copies of the DVD, so that we wouldn't have to lose out on this Christmas tradition.

Synopsis:

(I'll keep this part VERY brief, since you should already know)

The Grinch (Jim Carrey; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) (first name "The", last name "Grinch") is embittered by the Whoville society, and put out by their Christmas joy. Curious after a run-in with him, Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen; Underdog) investigates his life and tries reaching out to him. He resists at first, and does so to the point of "stealing Christmas". But you'd never expect what happens after that!

Thoughts:

I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE. Everything about it (in my opinion) is well done. The makeup and set is so extravagant. I just learned in my preliminary research for this entry that this film actually won an Oscar for best makeup! I'm not surprised but I'm impressed! I also never realized until my most recent viewing that this was directed by Ron Howard. Ron Howard has a great reputation, but that began with this movie. He did a thorough job as director, and all aspects (especially the artistic ones) are fantastic.

The Mayor (Jeffrey Tambor; Arrested Development) and Betty Lou Who (Molly Shannon; Superstar) head up an excellent supporting cast, but Taylor Momsen's naive but bold and intelligent Cindy Lou, combined with Jim Carrey's over-the-top and ironically lovable Grinch make for a fantastic leading duo. Even Anthony Hopkins as narrator adds an excellent layer of quality.

For the record, I like Momsen's version of "Where Are You Christmas?" better than Faith Hill's (though hers is good, too).

I also think that the screenwriters and director did a great job maintaining Dr. Seuss' original work. In a full length adaptation that was previously only 30 minutes, one may have to take some liberties. The liberties taken in this particular case, however, simply help the story by giving it background, and still make it flow. They did an incredible job combining Dr. Seuss' story, Boris Karloff's Grinch, and modern day children's humor to make an incredible product. 

What Can We Learn From This Movie?

It's simple really. It's a Christmas lesson that was not first addressed in this movie, and it will definitely be addressed in the future.

People who are mean are probably hurting. 

Not me of course. I'm just mean!

The Grinch was widely considered grumpy, evil, and mean, but only because he had bitterness in his heart. He was bullied because he was different. He got upset and he held a grudge. Should he have held a grudge? No, but you can't change other people's behavior, you can only change yours.

Cindy Lou Who's compassion, though it seemed futile for a long time (most of the movie) eventually reached the Grinch (They say that his heart grew THREE sizes that day!). 

SO. Here is what I'm trying to say: Keep going. Being compassionate (as Cindy Lou can attest) is discouraging at times. Persevere. Everything has an impact, even if you can't tell that at first. 

*steps off soapbox*

This really about wraps it up. I highly recommend this movie. It IS a Christmas movie but it works anytime. The lesson is still as important, and the comedy still relevant. If you haven't seen it by now...don't wait til next Christmas!

Thanks for reading, guys. I really appreciate it. Please leave me your feedback on here, Facebook, Twitter, or somewhere relevant where I'll read it! Thanks so much! God Bless!!

NAH