Out there: the People vs the Grinch

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the court… on behalf of the American moviegoing public, I am demanding an immediate recount of the box-office receipts of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. With a domestic gross of $195 million and growing, there must surely be an error in the calculations. It is the opinion of the plaintiff that there have been numerous examples of “overtickets.” Overtickets, of course, are tickets purchased for young children but tallied at adult ticket rates. Furthermore, we argue that serious cinema irregularities have occurred in Los Angeles, Miami-Dade and Cook counties. The court must adjust the domestic gross totals to reflect the fact that The Grinch is a substandard piece of garbage.

In our request for relief, we also request that the court change the title of the film. We cite the case of The People vs. The Mod Squad, in which a lower court ruled that the resulting film had so little connection to the original source material that the title was an inaccurate reflection of the movie’s contents. Indeed, The Grinch bears only slight resemblance to the Dr. Seuss original. In that work, the merry Whos of Whoville annoy The Grinch with their unabashed love of Christmas. The evil Grinch, with his shrunken heart, resents the Whos’ chronic cheer and steals Christmas from them. But The Grinch cannot succeed, because the true spirit of the holiday cannot be taken from the eternally joyous Whos. In the case before this court, director Ron Howard “updated” the story with a generous dose of political correctness. In his new version, the Whos are greedy consumers. Their love of Christmas is defined exclusively by their love of presents. There’s no talk about the meaning of Christmas, only the need to promote their blind commercialism. Indeed, the Whos are hardly a cheery bunch. They fight with their neighbors, their leader is a corrupt Mayor, and when the Grinch finally steals Christmas, the Whos don’t sing in joy… they cry and fight some more.

Your honor, we also assert that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is such an unpleasant film to look at that there is no reasonable explanation for the multitude of alleged repeat viewings by the paying public. In this film, The Whos of Whoville are a species of dogmen. Their pointed snouts, crooked brows and beaver buckteeth make each one look like a leftover from The Island of Dr. Moreau. The Grinch is no better. The audience is “treated” to one extreme close-up after another of The Grinch eating rotten bananas, showing his grotesque brown teeth and licking his plastic lips. Even the color scheme is off, as Christmas green is replaced with Exorcist-vomit green. The cumulative effect is a film that you really don’t want to look at. In fact, you wish it would just go away. Surely, the framers of the Constitution did not intend for such an eyesore to reap the prestige of being named “the year’s top-grossing film.”

Furthermore, our briefs before this tribunal indicate a most serious case of false advertising. In all advertisements, this movie is billed as “starring Jim Carrey.” However, there is no proof that the comic genius actually appears in this film. Hidden behind an elaborate mask and a cheap-ass fur suit, Carrey is completely unrecognizable. He doesn’t even sound like Jim Carrey — not that he has much dialogue. Most of The Grinch’s lines are growls, grunts and guttural screams. In scene after scene, The Grinch makes so much unpleasant noise that you’ll begin to wonder if his dialogue was looped by an angry wino. We petition that Carrey’s name be removed from all future editions of this film, including opening and closing credits, posters, video boxes and DVD keep-cases. We further ask that the court uphold an injunction preventing Carrey from listing this film on his resume.

Mr. Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court, we conclude with our requests for judicial relief: that Ron Howard be publicly flogged for desecrating a beloved work of art, that Jim Carrey be enjoined from partaking in the profits of this miserable Christmas film, and that all box-office receipts be adjusted to reflect that fact that this film should have been a career-ending, studio-budget-crippling, run-from-the-theater-screaming bomb. Anything less than a unanimous decision affirming our claims would not only result in a constitutional crisis but an even more heinous sequel. Our country cannot afford that.

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