'The Grinch' is mediocre
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen
By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff
First published in 1957, Dr. Seuss' classic
How the Grinch Stole Christmas has charmed charmed readers young
Now director Ron Howard (who's made such
great films as Apollo 13) has made the book into a motion picture
starring Jim Carrey.
Unfortunately, Howard's movie doesn't succeed.
And Carrey? While he immortalizes the character
of the Grinch, his substantial talent does not save the movie from mediocrity.
Overall, The Grinch is a disappointing film.
Many may argue that there isn't really
enough in the Seuss book to make a two-hour film, but that isn't the problem
at all. Howard has gotten a great story, with extra characters and engaging
dialogue. His mistake is in playing with certain aspects in the film so
much that it becomes boring.
For those who don't know the story, here's
a quick briefing. The story takes place in the town of Whoville during
its preparations for Christmas.
The Grinch, who lives with a dog named
Max in nearby Mt. Crumpit, hates this holiday.
Ron Batzdorff/ Universal
Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) meets the Grinch (Jim Carrey) in The Grinch,
directed by Ron Howard.
So he decides to take the holiday from
the people of Whoville by stealing all the town's presents and everything
related to Christmas.
Perhaps the only truly attractive thing
in the film is the production design. Done beautifully and imaginatively
by Michael Corinblith, who's worked with Howard in many films, it brings
Whoville to life in a very spectacular manner. The set and the use of colors
enhance the imaginative world of Dr. Seuss. The costumes are also innovative
and very interesting.
It's hard to get a grip on any part of
this film, however; Howard doesn't bring out the story as well as he could
have. Though it's obvious what's going to happen, he doesn't utilize his
time well in getting there.
Besides the Grinch, the other focus in
the film is Little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), a little girl who tries
to understand the Grinch and convince him to embrace the spirit of Christmas.
Also included in the cast are Jeffrey Tambor
(TV's "The Larry Sanders Show"), who plays the selfish mayor; Christine
Baranski (The Birdcage) as Martha May Whovier, a Martha Stewart-esque
woman who has a crush on the Grinch, and Molly Shannon (Superstar)
as Little Cindy Lou Who's mother, Betty Lou Who. Anthony Hopkins narrates
Carrey, who portrayed comedian Andy Kaufman
in last year's Man on the Moon, once again continuously utilizes
his talent for being the funny guy. He portrays the Grinch expertly, another
interesting challenge met as Carrey furthers his career.
Momsen, as Little Cindy Lou Who, brings
the cuteness to this film, wrapping up all the kiddie aspects in The
Grinch. She's much like Drew Barrymore's Gertie in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial,
but her role doesn't require much.
The Grinch was a great risk for
director Howard -- an attempt to make a classic, well-loved book into a
successful motion picture, which inevitably will have to withstand comparisons
to the animated version. Unfortunately, he has failed to conjure up a truly