Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12 Movies Of Christmas: Elf (2003)

       'Elf': A Small, Simple Holiday Comedy With Heart as Big as The Protagonist's Height

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to the latest edition of 12 Days Of Christmas. I know I didn't fulfill my promise of reviewing 12 films last year due to personal mishaps, but I will do my best to try and make up for that by reviewing 12 films that are either set on Christmas, take place in the winter, or are about Christmas. For my first review, I will discuss a film that leans towards the former. My first film is the 2003 modern classic Elf.

            Elf follows the story of a grown-up elf named Buddy (Will Ferrell) who lives in the North Pole and decides to set out and find his father Walter (James Caan) who turns out to be on the naughty list. Once he arrives in New York City and finds his father, a slew of mishaps occur while Buddy falls in love with a woman named Jovie (Zooey Deschanel).

           One thing that I really liked was Will Ferrell's performance as Buddy. I really enjoyed watching Ferrell channel his character's cheerful optimism and how it affects those around him. I especially loved the scenes between him and Zooey Deschanel as they both have wonderful chemistry. Ferrell also has wonderful support from James Caan as his father. Caan is wonderful as Buddy's father who despite his neuroticism, takes Buddy under his wing anyways.

           I also thought that the story was refreshing and original. Not only was the idea of an adult elf becoming accustomed to the real world a nice idea, but it has a good amount of heart and pathos. It not only is about Buddy trying to blend into modern society, but the other characters undergo an arc of some kind. Walter slowly tries to accept Buddy as his son while Jovie slowly comes out of her shell after Buddy hears her beautiful singing voice.


           Overall, Elf is a fun holiday treat for the whole family with a blend of humor and heart that is as sweet as a plain candy cane with peppermint stripes. The performances by Will Ferrell and his supporting cast are terrific and while the story may be simple, it is refreshingly original and is something that anybody can enjoy for the holidays.

Grade: A