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Then & Now: Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen)

12.21.2012by: Salacious Crumb

Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. Well, assuming the planet hasn't exploded just yet, Christmas time is on its way! This means we're days away from gathering with our politically incompatible families to exchange AAA battery-powered gifts and try to revive the Christmas cheer that's clearly been lost since we found out Santa wasn't real. Sorry, kiddos, you really shouldn't be on this site, anyways. While the holiday season can be sort of a pain, it does allow us to kick back with some spiked eggnog and watch some good old-fashioned Christmas movies. Stuff like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, CHRISTMAS VACATION, and "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". I'm speaking of the classic cartoon, not the Jim Carrey... "interpretation", which ain't quite that old-fashioned. Actually (bite my tongue), it DOES seem like kind of an older movie now, doesn't it? Maybe that can best be determined after taking a look back at THE GRINCH's Cindy Lou Who, Taylor Momsen.

Her hair dresser was so exhausted, she forgot her coffee.

If you already scrolled down to see the reveal, shame on you. Also, welcome back. I'm not gonna give the usual rundown of every last thing on this girl's filmography. I will tell you she was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised Catholic (that's something you might wanna write down). She first began acting at 3-years-old in a Shake 'N' Bake commercial, but her first breakout role was obviously in DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000).

First of all, I was a huge fan of Dr. Seuss series as a kid. I think One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a touchstone we should all live our lives by. His style was unlike anything else in the children's section of the book store at the time. The more I find out about some of his techniques as a poet, the more I respect the guy. How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (with an exclamation mark) was published in 1957, and was followed by the Chuck Jones-directed animated special in 1966, which captured the hearts and imaginations of families around the world. I was pretty ecstatic when I first heard the news that Jim Carrey of all people would finally be portraying the grumpy green man in a live-action remake. When I actually saw in theaters, I was... okay with it. I was a little younger, so the Jim Carrey thing appealed to me, as well as the rapid-paced humor. On the other hand, it makes me want to smash a gingerbread house. These "humbuggy" feelings are largely due to this girl...

Oh, Cindy Lou Who: the Who without a clue. The girl who invited a monster to town for the holidays. I can barely begin to describe my bitter outrage towards this character, particularly in the Ron Howard film. First of all, in case you weren't aware, THE GRINCH takes place in a town in a snowflake called Whoville. Right from the get-go, we see Whoville has a thriving economy. The whole town is out happily buying Christmas presents, all business is through the roof, and not a single person cheaps out on Christmas lights (or the electric bill for that matter). All the adults are singing, all the children are happy... except Cindy Lou Who. She doesn't think buying gifts is what Christmas is all about (although in Whoville, IT IS). Naturally, the only other person in town whining is the Grinch (Jim Carrey), who lives his life in a trashy mountain right next to Whoville (there aren't very many places to travel in a snowflake). He's a rat-bastard, but since he's the protagosnist, they try to make us feel empathy for him by showing us this...


His daily routine includes "walllowing in self-pity, staring into the abyss, jazzercizing, dinner with himself, wrestling with his self-loathing and laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and slipping slowly into madness". As a child, he was constantly ridiculed by this fat asshole named Augustus May Who. In an attempt to impress his classmate, Martha May Whovier, he attempts to shave his child-beard, but regretfully shows up to school the next day with shaving tape on his face. After the classroom points and laughs, (because his green complexion wasn't embarrassing enough) the Grinch skips town. Augustus winds up becoming the Mayor of Whoville (played by Jeffrey Tambor), so you can understand why the Grinch feels compelled to secretly masquerade and wreck havoc among the city. What I don't understand is Cindy Lou Who's sudden obsession with this monstrous entity (whom she's never seen or met before).

"Who let you the f*ck in here?!"

After hearing this sob story, Cindy Lou Who nominates the Grinch as the "Holiday Cheermeister", the main participant of the town's Whobilation. Mayor Augustus reluctantly agrees to this. So, Cindy Lou climbs a dangerous, snowy mountain (all by herself) to give the Grinch a formal invitation. As he weighs out the pros and cons of exposing himself, his dog, Max, ultimately decides for him. After the Grinch makes his gradn entrance (crash landing head-first into Martha May's tits), he his greeted by the Whos and is then anally-raped with Christmas cheer. When it's all over, Mayor Augustus offers the Grinch a "Christmas shave", which triggers him to go completely ape-shit all over the town. This puts him back into a cynical state, finally leading up to what we all want to see: the Grinch stealing mothaf*ckin' Christmas!

See, I could've done without everything above. Even twelve years ago, I was upset how far this movie stretched away from the source material. I would've much rather had seen thirty more minutes of the Grinch burgling the Whos' houses, because that's what he's known for, and it's fun to see the creative ways in which he steals things. It was the best part of the 1966 cartoon. But in this movie, they needed to fill up space with crap like this wretched Faith Hill song...

I would rather choke on green eggs & ham than listen to that for 1.5 minutes. Any-who, eventually the Grinch breaks his way into Cindy Lou Who's home. Cindy Lou comes downstairs to get a glass of water (knowing damn well that it's Christmas Eve and she should be in bed), and runs into the Grinch, who's dressed as Santa, stealing her Christmas tree. Not only does she not realize all of her possessions are missing, but she also finds it normal that Santa has Oscar the Grouch's arms. The Grinch convinces her that the tree is defective, and he's taking it back to the North Pole for the elves to work on (this is Christmas Eve, by the way). Cindy Lou heads back to bed, and the Grinch successfully cleans out the rest of Whoville.

I'm sure we all know the ending to this story. The Grinch believes he has sabotaged everyone's "Wholiday", but to his stupefaction, it comes without paper, it comes without tags, it comes without packages, boxes or bags. The Grinch hears the Whos singing, has tremendous heart palpitations, and decides to give everything back to the town! They forgive him, and after a night of serial home-invasions and grand theft, the Grinch gets away with everything. And now the town loves him. Hurrah!

As for my opinion of HOW TH GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS as a whole, despite the general tone of this review, I don't hate it. I still find it to be a fun flick for the holidays, though completely incomparable to the original. I guess the two things that bother me most are that "Where Are You, Christmas?" song, and all the near-death experiences Cindy Lou Who carelessly puts herself into. There many instances in which she should've been killed by hypothermia, or falling from the sky, but as the Grinch says toward the end, "Even if we're horribly mangled... there'll be no sad faces on Christmas."

In 2002, Taylor Momsen appeared in WE WERE SOLDIERS, HANSEL & GRETEL, and SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS. She also wound up appearing in UNDERDOG, but other than that, she kinda layed low for a while. I wonder what she's been up to as of late...

Of course she would turn out hot! Every child actress I hate always winds up being hot! First Pippi Longstocking (that sadistic b*tch) becomes a sexy bikini model, and now this!? Well, sorry to make you all feel like a bunch of pervs again. To be fair, she's not exactly the innocent, monster-befriending little girl anymore herself. She's become quite a hit in the indie-rock world, since she started fronting a band called The Pretty Reckless in 2010. You wouldn't catch this band writing a song like "Where Are You Christmas?". This year, they released an EP called "Hit Me Like A Man" (seriously, that's what it's called), and they have an album set to release next year. She often gets pretty crazy on stage, and they've performed as a support act for Evanescence and Marilyn Manson.

So what have we learned here today? Well, for one, Cindy Lou Who has terrible parents. We also learned that Taylor Momsen has sort of become the anti-Taylor Swift. I actually dig this ironically gothic thing Momsen's got going on, even if it's just her way of drastically changing her image. Just before she joined The Pretty Reckless, she starred for a few years on "Gossip Girl", but this band of hers seems to have occupied most of her time, lately. I say good for her. Keep living the dream, Cindy Lou Who! And have a great (insert holiday preference here), everyone!

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of the new Cindy Lou Who?


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