Review 371: Elf (2003)
As noted in our Top Five Holiday Movies podcast, Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I’ve actually watched it three times at this point, but it’s a tradition to watch it on Christmas Eve. I decided to wait and write my review for that viewing of it. There are so many things about the film that I love. Will Ferrell, the story is a great, a great Santa Claus, and it’s all about Christmas spirit. Elf gets the Must See rating.
Buddy (Will Ferrell) is a human who was raised by elves. His Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) reveals the truth to Buddy who goes on a quest to find his biological father (James Caan). Walter doesn’t have Christmas in his heart, but Buddy looks to change that while becoming a part of the family.
This is a film that I quote throughout the year. Son of a Nutcracker may be the best replacement curse word ever written. I believe the word Ginormous has been added to the dictionary at this point. Jon Favreau directs this film that has become a Christmas regular for many. There is so much to love about it from casting to the many memorable moments. It’s probably one of the most recently made films that I think I can quote almost every scene.
Bob Newhart narrating the beginning and the end of the film is one of my favorite aspects. He’s an actor who I don’t think gets used enough as his ability to deliver even basic dialogue can be done so comically. He genuinely cracks me up in almost every scene of every thing I’ve seen him in. Then James Caan who is most often associated as a gangster playing a children’s book publisher is so crazy. He still feels like a gangster, but Buddy’s influence is so clearly visible by the end.
If you’re one of the last people who still hasn’t seen this movie then it’s time. It’s funny and endearing. The film keeps Christmas in a joyful and whimsical way that works for kids and adults. Yeah, they even managed to fit a love story into it with Zooey Deschanel. My family loves it and I think we’ll watch it every year to come.