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Elf (2003)
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Review Date: November 07, 2003
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: David Berenbaum
Producers: Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki, Shauna Robertson
Actors:
Will Ferrell
James Caan
Zooey Deschanel
Plot:
A young human boy raised by Santa Claus and his elves finds out about his heritage one day and decides to go to New York City, in order to reunite with his biological father. Once in the big city, the man who believes himself to be an elf, is confused and amazed at the wonders of the modern world outside of the North Pole. Will Ferrell as a man-child...ensues.
Critique:
This is a fun movie that starts off a little cutesy, but really gets funny once the "elf out of water" concept kicks into full-gear when Will Ferrell prances around New York City acting foolish and doesn't let up until a somewhat corny final act which focuses a little too much on Santa and his goofy Claus-o-Meter. All said, a perfect family film that most anyone should be able to enjoy. I had a damn good time watching this film with its Christmas spirit tucked directly in your face, upbeat tunes, a gorgeous New York City during the holiday season, as well as a gaggle of jokes courtesy of one of the funnier men in showbiz today: William Ferrell. I've been a fan of Ferrell from his days as the only funny aspect of TV's "Saturday Night Live" and am very happy to report that his character was a blast here, and should do nothing less than provide him with even more of the warranted props that he deserves. Just thinking about that scene with him in the doctor's office, cracks me up even now. Kudos also go out to James Caan, an ideal casting choice as the grumpy dad as well as the cute, adorable, Zooey Deschanel, who lights up the screen with her big blue eyes, and injected the picture with just the right amount of romantic buzz. I usually look down at films that overplay the "montage" card as well (it represents lazy writing and padding, in my opinion), but the montages utilized here were generally pretty funny, and weren't just used to move the story along without providing any actual dialogue or depth.

Unfortunately for me, I'm not a 12-year old anymore (only in my pants!), so the film's denouement, which got a tad sappy and broke Ferrell down to a secondary character, didn't do it for me. It also attempted to "touch" the viewer, but the only thing that got even close to touching me was my "lady friend", who even then, was apparently just reaching for my nachos (yeah, right!) Then again, I think that X-Mas, and all that comes with it...blows. Just kidding. I actually do like Christmas, which is why I would definitely recommend that all lovers of the holiday check out this film, if only for the cute story, the great characters all around (the scene featuring "little person" Peter Dinklage is one of the funnier clips of the year), the spirit of the season, the homages to John Woo and those LORD OF THE RINGS movies, but mostly for the humor encompassed in the comedic genius best known as Will Ferrell. Sure, the film is slanted more toward the younger generation, but it doesn't leave out the adults and provides just enough entertainment for everyone and sweetness all around (i.e. a family film). In fact, if you have kids, this movie is probably one of the better ones for you all to see together (yeah, get your ass off that couch and take your kids to the movies, you scrooge!), since it will definitely light them up and give you more than enough chuckles to consider your hefty theatrical investment...a good one. Then talk to your kids, you jerk...can't you see that they need their father right now? Yeah, that's right...give them a hug. Aaaaaaaah. Christmas rocks.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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