Following the success of the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the year 2000, the Ron Howard-directed movie starring Jim Carrey would gross over $345 million at the global box office, the prospect of more live-action Dr. Seuss movies seemed like a trip down easy street for Hollywood. The bad news is that Dreamworks and Universal’s trip back to the well resulted in a movie so bad, so hated, and so regrettable, that it killed any live-action Dr. Seuss movies from ever happening again. We refer of course to the 2003 live-action The Cat in the Hat movie starring Mike Myers, and for no discernable reason, that film is trending on Netflix this week.
Like so many other new titles, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat premiered on Netflix on December 1st, alongside another surprising movie that has also dominated the Netflix Top 10. The film sat dormant since it arrived on the streamer but in recent days has started to climb the Top Movie charts in the United States. As of yesterday, Friday, December 10, The Cat in the Hat was the #9 most watched movie on Netflix and as of today, Saturday, December 11, it’s the #6 movie on the platform. Should this trajectory continue it could remain in the Top 10 for the next few days, perhaps even climbing higher and beating out even Netflix’s own original movies (right now it’s besting recent Netflix hits A Boy Called Christmas and The Power of the Dog).
(Photo: Universal Pictures)
So what makes The Cat in the Hat so bad? The film’s poor reception primarily came down to style over substance complaints, that the movie was built around Mike Meyers (in the throws of his Austin Powers popularity) in a wacky character with horrifying make-up and a story that bore little resemblance to the original Dr. Seuss book. At the time, A.O. Scott of The New York Times called it “A vulgar, uninspired lump of poisoned eye candy;” with the legendary Roger Ebert writing: “It’s been said you should never marry anyone you wouldn’t want to take a three-day bus trip with. I have another insight: Never make a movie about a character you can’t stand.”
The film has an abysmal 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $134 million at the global box office on a reported budget of $109 million. The film was nominated for right Razzies including Worst Picture, and won the award “Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content).” The year after the film was released a report from The AP quoted Audrey Stone Geisel, the now late widow of Dr. Seuss, confirmed that she hated the movie so much that she would block any other live-action movies based on Seuss’ work to happen. Since then only animated films have been produced, but a live-action Grinch musical did air on TV last year, and it was also horrifying.
All of which begs the question, why are so many people watching this on Netflix right now? And are you about to become one of them?
from Ultimate Comic Blog