Revisiting ‘Elf’


Another film that is big on memorable one-liners.

Elf is a 2003 holiday film that stars comedic legend Will Ferrell, as Buddy the Elf, who is on a mission to look for his birth father after he found his way to the North Pole as a baby by climbing into Santa’s bag of gifts.

The reason why he goes on this mission is because he believes that he doesn’t fit in with the other elves because of his height and inability to complete certain tasks that only elves can complete. His adopted father Papa Elf, played by Bob Newhart, gives him a snow globe of the Empire State Building to show where Buddy’s father lives. Unfortunately, there is a problem as Buddy finds out that his father is on the naughty list.

Buddy’s father, played by James Caan, is a children’s book publisher but he only cares about his job and neglects the son that he currently knows, Michael. When he meets Buddy, he thinks he is delusional and tries to separate himself as much as he can from him. He even tells his wife to just leave him out in the snow because he loves it. When the two first meet, you see Buddy singing to his dad in one of the most awkward but hilarious scenes of the film: “So I’m here now. I found you, daddy and guess what? I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU.”

Walter’s arc is one of the most heartwarming that you will watch in a Christmas film because Walter has to come to terms about how he treats people and he sees, through Buddy, how to lighten up, how to love and spend time with his kids and embrace the Christmas spirit.

Ferrell, as always, is hilarious as Buddy. His acting in this film feels like the inspiration of his childlike behavior in the film Step Brothers that would come later down the road. Buddy is unaware of how regular, everyday people act so you will see him cross the Manhattan, NY streets without paying attention to street lights, he eats gum off the sidewalks, he enters the women’s locker room and sings along with a showering Zooey Deschanel. He even belches out a song in the middle of a busy mall. “I’m singing. I’m in a store and I’m singing. I’M IN A STORE AND I’M SINGING”

This movie is all about having spirit and embracing, not only the holiday season but spending time with your family as well. It is a perfect film for when you are feeling down because Buddy is able to brighten up almost every person he meets. He gets his narcissistic father to love him, he gets the unenthusiastic Jovie to spread the Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear and the final scene of this film is a montage of every person Buddy meets singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.

While this is not my go-to Christmas film, it is definitely in my top-five and one that can cheer up any holiday season when you are feeling down.

Rating: 8/10

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