Jim Carrey stars as the green and grumpy anti-hero in this festive frolic of a film, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As it is directed by Ron Howard and based on Dr. Suess’ children’s book you can expect odd characters and absurd humour. As a child The Grinch was different to all others in Whoville. The main reason being because he is green and hairy; however he wasn’t vicious or mean. Cut to Christmas Eve and his crush rejecting his affection and gift, The Grinch see’s red. As his heart breaks it also turns to stone, part of the community he is no more.
Isolated on the top of a mountain and filled with fury, every Christmas he disguises himself and exacts revenge on the festive folk of Whoville. Only this time he comes across a little girl whilst going about his mischievousness. Finding him amusing rather than scary, unlike everyone else, she sets about trying to ‘humanise’ him again. She believes that a part of him stills feels and loves like a human being and Christmas is the best time of year to make him realise this.
The little village amongst the forest is idyllic if not slightly cartoonified. The prosthetics to transform the actors into pointy nosed Whoville residents is slightly plastic looking, but this was made nearly 12 years ago and make up has come a long way since. The feeling you get when the film first starts is festive through and through.
Carrey’s role as The Grinch is perfect, his unique sense of humour that’s evident in nearly every character he takes on, whether its comedic or not, gives the film that twist it needed. It goes from being an average Christmas film to a hilarious and quirky production. With his over dramatic facial expressions and energy that goes into performing, it is hard not to enjoy. The young girl, Cindy Lou Who, played by Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl) pre black eyeliner is cute but slightly annoying which could seem mean, but true. Her acting nonetheless is impressive for a child so young.
The one point that seemed to be glossed over is something I think all could learn from the film. Christmas is not just a time to buy and give presents but one day of the year which can be spent with family, friends or a community, with no other excuses. Ron Howard spent so much time perfecting the set designs, costumes and comedy of Jim Carrey that this didn’t get mentioned until the very end.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a happy, festive film with Carrey using his acting abilities to bring the film alive, but, I do feel it became the Jim Carrey Show rather than being solely focused on the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.