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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 --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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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!
This year however Elf can only be seen in the UK by Sky Movie subscribers because Murdoch has used his considerable wealth to swipe it away from Channel 4 which anyone could watch. Buy your own copy thereby saving many pounds in subscriptions and the horror of a dish on the side of your house (and all that says about you as a person).
The sound and picture are so much sharper.
Zooey Deschanel get's more beautiful with every watch.
Will Ferrel is adorably and disgustingly hilarious.
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
This film is a firm favourite in our house over the festive period - and this is just adults! It has become a classic, along with Home Alone & Love Actually. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Kim