When young Buddy falls into Santa's gift sack on Christmas Eve, he's transported back to the North Pole and raised as a toy-making elf by Santa's helpers. But as he grows into adulthood, he can't shake the nagging feeling that he doesn't belong. Buddy vows to visit Manhattan and find his real dad, a workaholic publisher.
Okay, this is a fun movie, what I consider to be one of those classic Christmas movies I am willing to watch every year. And for me, that is a fairly short list, such as A Christmas Story and the ubiquitous It’s a Wonderful Life. (Interestingly, Peter Billingsley, who plays the lead Ralphie role in A Christmas Story, has an adult role in Elf.)
The script goes over the top a bit sometimes, resulting in cringeworthy moments for me, but it is harmless and easily forgiven. There is wit, pathos and sight gags galore. I like the chemistry between Will Farrell and Zooey, and it is a treat to have national treasures Ed Asner and Bob Newhart leading off the film as Santa and the Papa elf. James Caan and Mary Steenburgen are credible as Elf’s prospective new family in New York City.
So there is not a lot of depth to this movie, nor is there supposed to be. It is a great film to watch with friends or extended family. It shouldn’t offend anyone and you can visit with each other, because you don’t have to pay close attention to the plot. In fact, many viewers will be able to recite he lines along with the characters.
New Line Cinema, Guy Walks into a Bar Productions by Jon Favreau, David Berenbaum.
Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel.
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Keywords: holiday elves dwarf santa claus adoption sarcasm looking for birth parents romance orphan north pole christmas spirit christmas workshop father son relationship
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