I expected more. Not that this new version of the Dr. Seuss classic isn’t fantastic in set design and the antics of Jim Carrey as the Grinch, for it certainly is. But it lacked whimsy and magic. And despite all its colorful candy canes, tinsel and lights, it looked like the whole thing was shot through a perpetual fog.
Whoville’s resident’s, in every shape and form, lacked sufficient distinction to make me care one way or the other if any of the Whos would have a Christmas or not. I thought Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who, the little girl who decides early on that the Grinch is worth saving, is really nothing special. Her singing voice was particularly untouching.
By now, everyone should know the story, but it you don’t, here goes. The Grinch is this green furry guy who hates Christmas as much as Ebenezer Scrooge. He lives high atop a mountain overlooking the little Alpine-esque town of Whoville, where everyone is sugary sweet and lives for Christmas day. In this version, we get to see exactly what spoiled the Grinch’s concept of Christmas and why he went to live on that mountain. He was taunted by schoolmates when he was just a young boy and had a crush on the fetching Martha May Whovier. Years pass and the Grinch is his dastardly old self, holed up inside the mountain entertaining himself and his trusty dog Max (great dog/best scenes!) with his madcap contraptions and gleeful hate. Reminded how much he really hates the holiday that the Whos hold most dear, the Grinch hatches a scheme to rid the town entirely of Christmas cheer. That’s his and the story’s big event.
Also stars: Jeffrey Tambor as May Who – the Mayor, Christine Baranski as the older Martha May Whovierand Molly Shannon as Cindy Lou’s mom, Betty Lou. Directed by Ron Howard. Screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman.
Lotta says there are a number of cute moments, particularly with the dog and I think Carrey did a wonderful job overall, but the movie seemed to me too long and did not steal my heart as I had hoped it would. Still, I expect this to a blast at the box office and the kids will probably love it, regardless. Consider it good family fare.