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Many people have movies they watch religiously when the holiday season comes around. Such examples can be A Christmas Story, Polar Express, or even Arthur Christmas. But one movie I think deserves to be highlighted is the live action How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey.
The movie follows two characters with central roles to the story; A young who-girl who goes by the name of Cindy Lou from Christmas loving Whoville, and the isolated green grumpy Grinch who despises anything to do with the joyous holiday. Cindy Lou struggles with losing her love for Christmas and wants to do something to rekindle the passion. As she does this, she can’t help but notice the rumors circulating about the infamous recluse who lives on Mt.Crumpit with all of Whoville’s garbage. As the title says, the Grinch does indeed try to steal Christmas, but then something remarkable happens that ruins his plans.
One of the elements that makes this film so great is the message it sends to viewers unconsciously. In the film a big theme is how Christmas has become more of a holiday fixated on buying and giving gifts, rather than the holiday of spreading good cheer to those around who need it. Jim Carrey’s character even comments on the amount of Christmas gifts thrown out not even days after Christmas that he receives on Mt. Crumpit. So the message of Christmas being about more than presents is huge, and delivered in such an entertaining way that kids hopefully pick it up whether they’re conscious of it or not.
Additionally, the humor in the film has stayed relevant to the times for the most part. In fact, as can be seen by the trends on TikTok, this movie has some iconic lines. Many short videos have been produced on the app utilizing bits of the dialogue to provide viewers a good laugh. One such example is when the Grinch talks about his “super busy schedule” in which solving world hunger but telling no one is a part of it. Thousands of users have utilized this fragment of dialogue due to the outrageously hilarious things Carrey’s character says. And that’s just one of many moments currently trending on TikTok.
A well written script needs well versed actors and the acting in this movie is phenomenal. Jim Carrey gives his all to this character and does not hold back anything. Actors playing such unique and heavily made up characters are so much fun to watch, as they let themselves go and embrace the characters traits. Carrey really took it out of the park with this glass eating pessimist. And with all the SFX makeup, you can barely tell it’s Carrey. That speaks volumes about the talented people off the screen as well. And besides Jim Carrey, actress Taylor Momsen did a spectacular performance for young Cindy Lou especially with a character who in the book and original animated movie, did not express a ton of personality for the young actress to work with.
The scene design is also one to clap for. With two main locations to work with, the designers really made it feel as though the audience fell into Dr. Seuss’s book. All the shapes and colors of the buildings were so artfully designed with Seuss’s iconic wavy and unusual vibe. This transfers over to costumes as well. Although peculiar outside of the world Suess created, for this film everything was decided with clear intention of impressing audiences with how on the nose their choices were.
And once again, the SFX was well done, not only on the Grinch but all the Who noses as well. Everyone felt like they were from a different world and not actors from Hollywood. Admittedly, you can tell the effects are old in comparison to what can be produced nowadays. But even then the work put in is something to admire.
Is How The Grinch Stole Christmas my favorite holiday movie? No. But it is one I admit to needing to watch annually for how classic it is. So if anyone has a way to watch it, do it. It’ll bring you tears of laughter and enlighten you to any jokes you may have missed being a kid. Those whose only connection with it is because of TikTok must watch this film to understand just how good it is. ⅘ stars. It’s a movie I look forward to, but not the first one I reach for. Anyone who has not seen it yet, highly recommend watching it.