2003 – Family/Comedy, Rated G, 93mins.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan.
As a baby, Buddy crawls into Santa’s toy bag and is whisked off to the North Pole, where he is raised as an elf. A misfit who grows to be three times the size of his elf family, Buddy ultimately heads to his birthplace of New York City to seek out his roots. Unfortunately, they turn out to be a “Scrooge”-like father and a cynical ten-year-old stepbrother who doesn’t believe in Santa. Worst of all, everyone seems to have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. But using his simple elf ways, Buddy sets out to single-handedly win over his family and save Christmas in New York, hoping to at last find his true place in the world.
Ever since a giant human elf called Buddy appeared on the big screen ten years ago, he has worked his way into the regular screenings catalogue as a bit of a modern classic amongst the Christmas genre. One of the big reasons for this is the fact that it manages to be an entertaining G rated comedy that isn’t just filled with sickening candy for kids it’s also got lots of funny moments for adults as well. It’s nothing ground breaking as far as the overtired and familiar plot are concerned, but it’s not really about that, it’s about a 6′ 3 Will Ferrell playing a sweet and innocent Elf. It’s a one note song which plays well, so long as you are a person who loves watching Ferrell on screen, even if he is in tights. Elf marks Ferrell’s first appearance as the star of a movie since his work on Saturday Night Live, the launch pad for almost every Hollywood comedian on the big screen today. And Elf still remains one of Ferrell’s much loved movies alongside Anchorman and Zoolander.
Terry Zwigoff the director of the brilliant, however MA15+ Bad Santa was the initial director slated for the film. And although part of me would have loved to have seen what he would have done with the material, Director Jon Favreau, did a great job of balancing the cute and candy coloured innocents of the North Pole with the harsh big smoke, It’s just the right mix of spaghetti and syrup. With Buddy’s crossover journey from the North Pole to New York probably being my favourite part of the film especially his ocean crossing on a piece of ice. If you are looking for a funny Christmas film you can watch with the whole family, Elf would have to be high on that list.
Review out of five stars: ★★★ Stars
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