| November 12, 2003

The Elf is the new film from Director/Actor Jon Favreau (Made, Swingers, PCU) and stars Will Ferrell (Night at the Roxbury, Old School) who seems to be appearing everywhere and in everything lately. Will Ferrell is Buddy Elf a human that is raised by Elves in the North Pole. As a newborn Buddy’s mother died during birth complications and his father Walter played by James Caan (The Godfather, Las Vegas TV) is unaware of his existence. On Christmas Eve Santa played by Edward Asner (infamous television actor) visits an orphanage and while distracted with a plate of cookies, Buddy accidentally wanders into his bag of presents. When Santa returns to the North Pole he and the elves discover Buddy who just happens to be the first human to ever invade the North Pole.
Buddy is taken in by Papa Elf played by Bob Newhart (another famous television star) and raised as an Elf for thirty years. One of the many problems a human can have when living in the North Pole with elves is an obvious one that The Elf plays up to the extreme. See Buddy is human and gigantic in comparison to the other elves and their dwellings. This creates all sorts of problems and sets the stage for Will Ferrell to run free with his comedic stylings. Buddy realizes he’s different and is told by Papa Elf that he is in fact human. So now nearly thirty years old and without anything but the Elf costume on his back, Buddy travels from the north pole to New York city to find his father Walter who has become a hardened publisher of children’s books. Oh, and as it turns out his father Walter is on the naughty list.
So six foot tall Buddy Elf makes it to New York, finds his father who thinks he’s a Looney and falls in love with a girl named Jovie played by Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous, The Good Girl) who works at a toy store with Buddy, well at least she works with him before he gets into a fight with a Santa impersonator. Buddy tries spreading the Christmas spirit to everyone he meets. Some people, especially in the city of New York just aren’t interested in Buddy’s particular brand of Christmas joy. It seems that people just don’t believe in Santa anymore and this anti-Christmas behavior is endangering Santa’s present baring yearly mission. The questions remain can Buddy save Christmas? Can Buddy reunite with his estranged father bringing together their whole family? Can Buddy convince Jovie that he’s not a complete weird-o?
The Elf has the mood and feeling of so many great Christmas films of the past. Really just seeing Will Ferrell in an Elf Costume running around New York City is pretty much all you need to start laughing. I think that some of the earlier jokes about a human living in an elf world didn’t play out very funny to me but it seems that once the story switched gears and became about a human raised by elves living in New York with other humans was when the film started to make me laugh. See in the North Pole everyone knows he’s different. But in New York he’s just a weird-o in an Elf costume preaching about Christmas. If you’re looking for revolutionary advancements and eye opening filmmaking this may not be what you want to see. While The Elf may not be able to take the place of such classics as The Christmas Story or It’s A Wonderful Life, this film is worth seeing if you’re looking for something that adults and children can enjoy together. If you’re a Will Ferrell fan you’ll probably enjoy this film.
So once again here’s what we’ve learned so far…elves really do wear those funny little hats and curly tipped shoes. Kyle Gas of Tenacious D isn’t as cool without Jack Black. For you blooper fans if you watch the shower scene closely with Jovie when she’s singing in the toy store bathroom, you can see that she’s wearing a body suit while in the shower. Hands off to the camera operator for not catching that one. What a loser. Oh, and last but not least, everyone should start spreading the Christmas cheer early this year because the reindeer can’t fly when the Claus-o-meter is running low on Christmas spirit.

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