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  • Film Review: Carrey in Grinch

    by Jan Aaron

    Jim Carrey’s antics are the best things about Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas. But the movie’s enchantment quotient, like the Grinch’s heart, has shrunk to two sizes too small. (Its box office has been huge, however.)

    In a nutshell: Director Ron Howard’s live-action version of Theodor S. Geisel’s (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) beloved book is somberly narrated by Anthony Hopkins. The Grinch (Carrey), is a potbellied, green faced, hairy meanie who lives in a junk-strewn lair atop a snow-covered mountain and hates the Christmas-loving inhabitants of the gaudily decorated Whoville. But, when he decides to put an end to all their merriment, his disastrous deeds are undone by Cindy Lou Who (newcomer Taylor Momsen). A sweet kid, who is turned off by the commercialism of Christmas, she detects good inside the Grinch, and gets the town to crown him “cheermeister” of the year. In what Hollywood calls a backstory, (here to pad out the film to feature length) Cindy Lou takes it upon herself to uncover the Grinch’s history: An orphaned infant, he was humiliated by school kids and rejected by childhood heartthrob, Martha May Whoever (Christine Baranski), which made him hide in the hills.

    Carrey is hilarious as he searches his junk-filled hideaway for something to wear to the award ceremony, but many other times his humor falls flat. The problem is his make-up: Carrey’s flexible facial gestures are a large part of his comedy. Here, covered with layers of green rubber, his face is less mobile which makes him depend on his pot-bellied body for his comedy, and he is effectively stifled. Whoville’s residents are odd looking, too. They have turned up pig snout noses and are completely consumed with their Christmas presents.

    The Grinch steals all these gifts and takes them to his lair. Now what do you think happens? Does the holiday spirit finally win? #

    (The Grinch, 102 minutes, Rated PG: crude humor.)

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