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The Movies

Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts for the weekend of Nov. 19

Issue: "Judicial overreach?," Dec. 2, 2000
1
How the Grinch stole Christmas $55.1 million
1 week in release
$55.1 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins / Ron Howard (Apollo 13) / Universal Pictures

PLOT
Big-budget revision of the famous story, with the Grinch disrupting Whoville's holiday cheer.

MESSAGE
Everyone deserves a Merry Christmas.

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CAUTION
Rated PG for some crude humor.

2
Rugrats in Paris $23 million
1 week in release
$23 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Cheryl Chase, Christine Cavanaugh (voices) / Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
The babies get to see France-and Chuckie goes looking for a new mommy.

MESSAGE
Babies see the world in a stranger, more imaginative way than grown-ups could ever understand.

CAUTION
Rated G.

3
Charlie's Angels $13.7 million
3 weeks in release
$93.6 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz / McG / Columbia Pictures

PLOT
A new generation of crime fighters grapples with a kidnapped millionaire.

MESSAGE
Women can do anything that men can do, including fight bad guys.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for action violence, innuendo, and sensuality.

4
The 6th day $13.2 million
1 week in release
$13.2 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Duvall / Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) / Columbia Pictures

PLOT
A man discovers he's been replaced by a clone.

MESSAGE
When technology falls into the wrong hands, it can threaten our humanity and freedom.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for strong action violence, strong language, and some sensuality.

5
Bounce $11.5 million
1 week in release
$11.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow / Don Roos / Miramax Films

PLOT
The widow of a plane crash victim falls for a man who gave up his seat on the doomed flight.

MESSAGE
Sometimes people find love in impossible situations.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language and sensuality.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Do we really need a feature-length Grinch? Director Ron Howard decks this Christmas blockbuster (rated PG for some crude humor) with slapstick comedy. What results is more a Jim Carrey vehicle than an adaptation of the classic story. Hollywood spent decades trying to get movie rights to The Grinch-and Dr. Suess went to his grave refusing. Looking at this revision, it's easy to see why. This version overhauls the whole Grinch tale, giving the mean one an origin story, a family, and a love interest. In the movie, the Grinch's wonderful, awful idea takes a back seat to a tacked-on storyline. Here the green monster is not such a bad guy at all. He was raised in Whoville and was picked on as a child, so he went off to go hate everybody. Little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) makes endless trips to his cave trying to convince him to come have a Merry Christmas. The result plays more like a sequel to The Mask than the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon most people remember. And it's too dark and unpleasant to raise any Yuletide cheer. Nevertheless, this expensive revision will likely play on TV every December for the rest of our lives.

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