[OPINION] A Tale of 3 Grinches and Why One is Absolute Trash
A Choad family tradition for the holidays: eat, watch movies, and talk even while the movie is playing. It's quite overstimulating, but it is still family time. I looked at my noise-cancelling-headphones-wearing-teenager and actually got a little jealous.
In previous years when Mom had cable, we would watch the Food Network. Eat food while watching television shows about food? Yup. In the streaming age, we would watching cooking/baking shows...while eating. This past Christmas we broke with tradition and watched the Grinch movies back-to-back-to-back, from the oldest to the latest. It made something glaringly obvious: not all Grinch movies are created equal.
To the Opinion Piece!
It's a classic. It's iconic. It's Boris f#$king Karloff as the Grinch and the Narrator. It's also Thurl Ravenscroft singing about what a POS the Grinch is. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was released in 1966 and is still goodly-enjoyed by families today. Was it the goodest version of the Grinches?
No. But before you banish my soul to WhoHell, hear me out: there's nothing wrong with this movie. Zip. But it's not the goodest of the Grinches.
Jim Carrey was on a roll at the turn of the century, and was the goodest choice to play the live-action Grinch. This update on the classic (titled, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"; same as the original, minus the exclamation point) was released in 2000 and featured Carrey as the titular grump, Sir Anthony Hopkins as the Narrator, and Taylor Momsen (eight years before debuting as the frontwoman for The Pretty Reckless) as Cindy Lou Who.
Carrey's spectacular over-acting paired with Momsen's adorably wholesome optimism is pure cinematic magic. And the gathering of Whos around the Christmas tree at the end of the movie still brings a tear to my eye, because you can see on the adults' faces that they sang this song as kids while watching the original Grinch movie. This movie is absolute holiday perfection, and The Goodest of the Grinch movies.
This was entirely unnecessary and uncalled for. Just 18 years after The Goodest of the Grinch movies blessed this planet, Hollywood ran out of ideas and released this obvious cash grab. Cumberbatch Benedict voiced the Grinch while "Happy" singer Pharrell Williams voiced the Narrator. This iteration just lacks soul. I could just be an old man yelling at the younger Grinch movie to get off my lawn, but this one stinks. It's lone saving grace is the final appearance of Angela Landsbury before her death 4 years later.
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