RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Charming as an eel or just the thing to grow your heart a few sizes every holiday season? We're tackling Ron Howard's garish – or utterly charming? – take on Dr. Seuss in our latest podcast episode.

by | December 24, 2020 | Comments

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

(Photo by © Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)

For his now-iconic turn as the Grinch in Ron Howard’s 2000 adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s beloved book, it’s said that Jim Carrey had to spend eight hours a day in the makeup chair and underwent training from a CIA agent to help him cope with the extended discomfort. On multiple occasions, the actor almost quit the production, so torturous was the process of becoming the Christmas-hating, Whoville-terrorizing green meanie. But, in the end, it was all worth it… right?

That depends where you stand. Much like a certain Internet-dividing dress (it’s definitely blue), How the Grinch Stole Christmas polarized critics and audiences upon its release. The story of the outcast Grinch (Carrey) – tossed aside by the residents of Whoville only to grow up as an increasingly “mean one” until little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) enters his life and eventually enlargens his heart – was catnip to many who praised its incredible production design and Carrey’s whirlwind, bats—t performance. But for others there was something hollow at the center of this gaudy Christmas bauble, which stretched Seuss’s charming sliver of a story – so beautifully captured in Chuck Jones’ 1966 Christmas special – to a 104-minute ode to the commercialism it was supposed to be criticizing.

In this week’s episode of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes), we’re unwrapping this modern Christmas favorite and asking: Is How the Grinch Stole Christmas really as bad as that Rotten 49% Tomatometer score? Or is this a smarter – and more hilariously cynical – film than many give it credit for? Joining hosts Jacqueline Coley (team Grinch!) and Mark Ellis (team Critics) is Winston A. Marshall, a.k.a. host, actor, and comedian The Swaggy Blerd. The trio talks Carrey’s masterful performance, the true villains of this Christmas world, behind-the-scenes drama (there was plenty), and why this Grinch might hit home with certain groups more than others.


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Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”


If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.


Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.


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