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Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Director:Ron Howard
Writers:Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman
Universal Pictures; 102 minutes; PG
Cast:Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor

If you are among the millions who harbor fond memories of the Dr. Seuss holiday classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, it may be best to stay far from Ron Howard's garishly unfaithful film adaptation. Gone is the warm-hearted whimsy that championed seasonal cheer and generosity over greed and materialism. In rushes a luridly polychromatic Whoville populated by dog-faced inhabitants whose general demeanor is barely distinguishable from the sour Grinch. Jim Carrey suffered under five hours of makeup every day to get into role; he unleashes these aggressions on the viewer with a strained, grating performance. Uncomfortably spliced contemporary elements add layers of cynicism wholly absent in both the Seuss original and the 1966 animated short.

Throwing $100 million at a classic kids tale will surely turn a profit and fill two hours between gift shopping, but when all is unwrapped, parents will be better off buying the book.

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