Elf [DVD] 
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Christmas family comedy directed by independent filmmaker Jon Favreau. Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human being who has spent his whole life believing himself to be an elf. Brought up by Santa (Edward Asner) and his elves at the North Pole, Buddy has spent the last 30 years happily working in Santa's toy workshop. But when his ungainly size starts to become a liability in the elf-sized working environment, Santa suggests that Buddy head to New York City to find his biological father (James Caan). Needless to say, the unlikely spectacle of a 6'5' man dressed from head to foot in bright green stands out a mile on the streets of the Big Apple, and the good-natured Buddy finds himself in all sorts of scrapes as he gets used to his new family and surroundings - and they get used to him.
Elf is genuinely good. Not just Saturday Night Live-movie good, when the movie has some funny bits but is basically an insult to humanity; Elf is a smartly written, skillfully directed, and deftly acted story of a human being adopted by Christmas elves who returns to the human world to find his father. And because the writing, directing, and acting are all genuinely good, Elf is also genuinely funny. Will Ferrell, as Buddy the adopted elf, is hysterically sincere. James Caan, as his rediscovered father, executes his surly dumbfoundedness with perfect aplomb. Zooey Deschanel, as a department store worker with whom Buddy falls in love, is adorably sardonic. Director Jon Favreau (Swingers) shepherds the movie through all the obligatory Christmas cliches and focuses on material that's sometimes subtle and consistently surprising. Frankly, Elf feels miraculous. Also featuring Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Peter Dinklage, and Ed Asner as Santa Claus. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
Ferrell starts as Buddy, the 'elf' of the title, a baby mistakenly taken to the north pole and raised along with the rest of Santa's elven helpers. As he grows up he can't understand why he towers 4 feet over all the other elves, or why he doesn't have pointed ears? Eventually, he learns of his origins and sets off to the big city to find his real father.
Once there, he becomes comically confused by the modern day interpretation of Christmas and starts to despair when the true spirit of Christmas seems to be lost. Think of this film as a cross between Dudley Moore's 'Santa Claus The Movie' and Steve Martins 'The Jerk' and you will get the idea.
Most of the fun in this film comes from Ferrells charming and at the same time manic performance, and he clearly carries the whole film, although the supporting cast are also strong.
A wonderful family film, this is one the most delighful Christmas films ever made!
The sound and picture are so much sharper.
Zooey Deschanel get's more beautiful with every watch.
Will Ferrel is adorably and disgustingly hilarious.
With strong support from James Caan as the tough-talking but emotionally torn father and the beautiful Zooey Deschanel as a girlfriend we'd all love to have who says it like it is but is more attractive for it with nothing but decency in her, the characters are fun, engaging and all help build Buddy's world without being clichéd. Kudos to the Gimbel manager, played by Faizon Love, who cracks me up every time he's on screen with his dead-pan rapport against Buddy.
Managing to be something more humane and personal than your typical Christmas film, it does however turn into the festive fantasy towards the finale when we have a full blown race to save Christmas - yes it's cheesy but actually good fun. As with the opening also at the North Pole, blending live-action and animation like the festive films of the past, this is a wide-eyed spectacle seen through the eyes of Buddy that will easily appeal to all ages and make young and old chuckle.
The comedy comes from seeing the fish-out-of-water template played to great effect, and lots of sight gags and one-liners coming thick and fast.
It's harmless fun, but is something a little different for Christmas time with a great cast, a good script and a real sense of heart and family.
The film centres on the character of Elf, brilliantly played by Will Ferrell, who mistakenly ends up at the north pole as a baby, and is then adopted by elves, who raise him in as one of their own.
However, once the adoptee has grown to full adulthood, Elf suddenly notices one day while working in Santa's workshop his physical differences from his co workers. He questions his heritage and is told the truth by his adopted father, that he is in fact a man, and so he then sets about tracking down his birth parents.
His search for his real parents leads him to yuletide New York City, and immediately feels at home as he explores department stores revolving doors, working santas and his biological fathers family and colleagues with hilarious results. The scene in mail room where Elf is dancing on the table and drinking with fellow workers is hilarious.
Unlike a lot of Christmas films this story isn't overly sentimental and the only overload of sugar is in the very physical sense as Elf lives on a diet of candy cane and syrup which he explains to his stunned birth family who are then encouraged to incorporate in their meal times also.
You could read a lot into this story such as faith is the true message of Christmas, but for me I just enjoyed the loveliness of Elf's innocence and the happiness and unity it brought to all those hardened cynical city dwellers, me included. Ultimately, this film allows the adult viewer remember all the reasons as a child they enjoyed Christmas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for my Granddaughter , thoroughly enjoyed it, great film for the Christmas season.Published 2 days ago by lindsaylivingdoll
Got this for a lovely girl I work with who loves Christmas generally. She was very pleased to receive this as she said it was the one Christmas film that she meant to buy but... Read morePublished 2 days ago by KatieMc