Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan
Director: Jon Favreau
Running Time: 97 mins
Elf is an American film about a man, adopted and raised by Santa’s elves, who is sent to New York City to find his birth father and his true self, however his behaviour doesn’t quite fit in with anything he finds in America.
I absolutely love this film! It’s a funny, light-hearted Christmas extravaganza with a warm and cosy atmosphere, a story that harks back to Christmas classics of old as well as the modern holiday season, a brilliant central performance by Will Ferrell, making it one of the most delightful films I’ve seen in a long while.
The thing that impressed me most about this film is how deliberately cheesy it is, which makes it even funnier, as well as how warm and gentle the message is, without being too cheesy itself.
Basically, this film takes the mick out of films that talk about the true meaning of Christmas, of thinking of others and of kindness and good will to all men, and does it very well, but it also still has a message of its own, about believing in joy and the spirit of Christmas, which doesn’t feel at all forced, but is so delightful and warming that it actually had me in tears of joy by the end.
Anyway, without wishing to sound too cheesy myself, I’ll move onto the story, which is also absolutely fantastic. It’s got loads of different things going on, from Buddy the Elf’s exploration of the real world, which is absolutely hilarious, his tense relationship with his father, which is actually quite interesting, and a sweet romance story with one of his co-workers, which was yet another absolutely lovely part of this film that made me grin all the way through.
Will Ferrell is also absolutely stunning in this film. The role may be trivial and silly, but I think it’s a fantastic performance nonetheless. He uses his genius comedic overacting, similar to what he does in Anchorman, to be so ridiculously entertaining and silly that you can’t help laugh at everything he does, and when he combines that with the childish characteristics of Buddy the Elf, he’s an absolute joy to behold, and constantly funny throughout.
Overall, this gets an 8.0, because it’s not only a funny comedy, it’s a smart Christmas parody with its own delightfully heartwarming message along with strong writing and performances all around.