When December hits, lights are strung on houses, pumpkin spice lattes get replaced with peppermint mochas and holiday movies start making the rounds on the Hallmark Channel. But what’s new to this winter-wonderland of a season is Universal’s animated remake of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Universal Studios has had a lot of success with animated movies, but, if the 2018 “The Grinch” is anything like the 2000 Christmas “masterpiece” starring Jim Carrey, there’s going to be much less to look forward to this holiday season.
The definition of overrated is having a higher standard than something deserves. Despite the fact that the Ron Howard-directed adaptation is the second top grossing Christmas film, the movie had mostly negative leaning box office reviews. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” fits the definition for overrated as well as the snug wrapping paper fits around Cindy Lou Who.
The fabricated lovers plotline between the Grinch and Martha May Whovier felt forced and out of place.
Film adaptations of books are known to change the storyline, a concept practiced in the 1962 movie adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” all the way to 2015 with “Paper Towns.” It comes as no surprise that the screenwriters of “The Grinch” did the same.
The original work of Dr. Seuss never included a self-centered mayor, or parents that adopted a baby that fell out of the sky. Of course, this isn’t to say that added details shouldn’t be included, but dramatizing the people of Whoville to be as greedy as Walmart shoppers on Black Friday didn’t do Dr. Seuss’ work any justice in the 2000 film.
The fabricated lovers plotline between the Grinch and Martha May Whovier felt forced and out of place. Obviously, the writers realized how ridiculous this was going to turn out, so they concocted a backstory of the Grinch being bullied in school and how a shaving incident made him resent Christmas to justify his actions. However, this made the movie feel like a rushed creative endeavor.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was written in 1957 by the ever famous Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). The story was the first time Seuss had the main character as the villain and it was the first time the main character was an adult. So not only was the story one-of-a-kind for Seuss, but it is regarded as a holiday classic to this day. However, the movie starring Jim Carrey took this Christmas staple and brought it into the start of a new millennium in the most over-the-top way possible.
Movies such as “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Home Alone” and Disney’s myriad of Mickey Mouse specials are all wonderful alternatives to this film about stealing the Christmas spirit.
Now every year, the film is played on a loop until January 1. It has students leave their study halls with Cindy Lou Who’s “singing” ringing in their ears. But what makes this motion picture remain in people’s Netflix queue is the outstanding performance of Jim Carrey as the Grinch.
Carrey took the cliche jokes the writers gave him and really made the most out of them. With over-the-top theatrics and one-of-a-kind facial expressions, Carrey brought the green scrooge to life. This leading actor gave the movie what it desperately needed: originality. However, his undeniably good performance can’t make up for the filmmakers’ ability to make the audience’s hearts shrink three sizes too small.
Christmas movies seem to be a staple of the holiday season. Curling up on a couch with loved ones watching Christmas cheer spread across a screen is considered a must. But what’s taking up that screen shouldn’t necessarily be the people of Whoville and their abstract hairstyles. Movies such as “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Home Alone” and Disney’s myriad of Mickey Mouse specials are all wonderful alternatives to this film about stealing the Christmas spirit.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times