Sunday, December 09, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) *½

PG, 104 min.
Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Dr. Seuss (book)
Narrator: Anthony Hopkins
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, Clint Howard, Josh Ryan Evans, Mindy Sterling, Rachel Winfree

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is what I call a “sheep movie.” I saw it when it was originally released on opening weekend, the first weekend in November of 2000. That’s a little early for a Christmas movie in my opinion. The theater was packed. It was the event of the season. Everybody watched and chuckled here and there, but there were no great reactions.

This past weekend our local theater had a special free screening of this Christmas movie, held immediately following our town’s annual Christmas Parade. The theater was packed once again. The guy who sat next to me pointed out that the movie had just played on television two nights prior. But, hey it wasn’t on the big screen accompanied by that special something that only movie theater popped popcorn has. The movie played and there was once again little reaction from the crowd. Sure, this time I’d bet there wasn’t anyone in the audience that hadn’t seen the movie previously. Still, it seems a good movie would’ve had more effect.

Yet, we flocked to it. The complimentary screening most certainly had something to do with it this time, but we still spent copious amounts on popcorn and soda. And, we could’ve just watched it at home. It seems there should’ve been a little more passion expressed for this choice of ours. We just went to it, like sheep, essentially because it was there. To some degree that’s how I am with any movie, but I just love movies. They’re more like breathing to me than an investment of my money and time. For most people, they’re something a little more out of the ordinary.

When the film was originally released, I think the audiencess’ purpose for being there wasn’t all that much different as with this free screening. It was there. It had Jim Carrey and bright Christmas colors. Hollywood did all they could to let us know that we had to see it, and so we did. And really, if you’re not holding a grudge against it for destroying one of the greatest childhood Christmas specials ever made, that’s really all there is to say about it.

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