Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Five Days of Christmas Films | Elf (2003)

There hasn't been a Christmas where I haven't watched Elf since it was released. It's become a staple movie not only within my household, but every time we'd have a movie day from primary school all the way up to college. It's one of those films that is constantly referenced and quoted around the world. 

I can distinctly remember receiving a special collectors edition of this film one Christmas in the early 2000s that included a chunky, green alarm clock with some elves following Will Ferrell's character, Buddy. I had that clock for years, cherishing it for no apparent reason. I mean thinking back at it now, it's the weirdest alarm clock to wake up to when it isn't Christmas. 

Elf itself is a weird story, following the trials and tribulations of Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell), a human brought up in the North Pole after he snuck into Santa's sack when he was an infant whilst in an orphanage in the early 70s. Buddy is adopted by Papa Elf, who tries to bring Buddy up like the surrounding elves of the North Pole. However, Buddy is of human size so he is unable to perform elf tasks. He eventually finds out he is in fact human, and decides travel to New York City to find his father Walter as he is on the naughty list due to greed and selfishness. 

The film benefits heavily from Ferrell's comedic ability and timing, but is also lends to the supporting cast of James Caan (portraying Walter Hobbs), Zoey Deschanel (portraying Jovie), Peter Dinklage (portraying Miles Finch) and Mary Steenburgen (portraying Emily Hobbs). But it's Ferrell that brings the mainstay of the laughs, sprouting out hilarity through memorable quotes and actions that Buddy performs to both fit into a human society and to find (and ultimately befriend) his father. And , of course, his blossoming feelings for Jovie. 

It's one of those Christmas comedies that never gets old, regardless of the amount of times its viewed. It's also a film that hasn't garnered numerous sequels or spin-offs (thank God), other than a musical-adaptation and a stop-motion Christmas special. 

Elf is certainly one of the films I look forward to every holiday season, as does the rest of the world. 


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