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The One-Line Summary: Nestled inside a snowflake live the Whos of Whoville, a happy people who love celebrating Christmas, though high above in the snow capped mountains there is the Grinch (Jim Carrey), a nasty green creature that despises Christmas and the Whoville festivals and plots to once and for all ruin the holiday and make this Christmas the last.
The Two-Line Blurb: Directed by Ron Howard, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a live action adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss book and the animated TV special of the same name it inspired from 1966, though deviates far from the source material to expand on the Grinch’s origins and give little Little Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen), a young Who discovers the curmudgeonly Grinch’s plans, a more substantial part. Carrey is probably well cast and does his best to honor the iconic animated counterpart, but the production and plot are so dark and dreary, there is little joy in this often disturbing, sometimes scary “children’s” film that is mostly uncomfortable though there are some undeniably fun moments with adorable Cindy Lou Who.
The Three-Line Set-up: This moment is all about the true Christmas spirit and begins when the grumpy Grinch was just a child, accidentally delivered to Whoville and adopted by sisters and ridiculed at school for being different, which, after an incident at Christmas time leaves him emotionally scarred, running away to Mt. Crumpit, where he remains. Moved by the story, Little Cindy Lou decides to invite the Grinch to the town’s Christmas Whobilation, though he initially refuses but concedes on the promise of a prize, though that prize itself is nothing but a source of humiliation and once again, he is tormented and goes on a rampage, destroying the big Christmas tree with a flamethrower.
The Four-Line Moment: The thing with Whos though it their unbreakable spirit, and even though their tree is ruined and the Grinch dresses as Santa and steals all their presents using a sleigh he’s made (with his pet dog Max disguised as a reindeer), he stands atop top his icy peak in disbelief as the Whos below aren’t crying with the loss of their material things, but actually singing with joy. This revelation makes him ponder and ponder and at long last there is an epiphany about just what it is that makes the Whos so happy. The true Christmas sprit finally overcomes the miserable Grinch, swelling his heart to three times its normal size. The Grinch “feels” again and realizes what he’s done and what he must do to restore the holiday to share in the warmth of the most special day of the year.
The Five-Word Review: Better off with the original.