American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" is a triumph above all of production design. That's partly because the production design is so good, partly because the movie is so disappointing. It's another overwrought clunker like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," all effects and stunts and CGI and prosthetics, with no room for lightness and joy. Poor Dr. Seuss, whose fragile wonderments have been crushed under a mountain of technology.
Mike Myers stars as The Cat, in the ritual sacrifice of a big star to a high concept. Like Jim Carrey as The Grinch, he's imprisoned beneath layers of makeup. There is a reason that Myers and Carrey are stars, and that reason is not because they look like cats or grinches. Nor does it much help that The Cat sometimes lapses uncannily into the voice of Linda Richman, Myers' classic "Saturday Night Live" character. The Cat is a nudge, a scold, a card, an instigator, a tease -- oh, lots of things, but one of them isn't lovable.
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 movie follows the book, sort of, if you can imagine a cute balloon inflated into a zeppelin. The two kids, Conrad and Sally, are played by Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning; he's seemingly compelled to mess things up, she's so compulsive that the To Do list on her Palm includes: "Make out tomorrow's To Do list."