Sunday, November 29, 2009

30 Days of Christmas: ELF!...

A lot of people I know-- myself included, if I'm being completely honest-- have become pretty disenchanted, so to speak, with Will Ferrell and his particular brand of humor of late. It tends to be one-note (and a very shrill note at that!). However, the one film of his everyone can agree is clever, sweet, funny, heartwarming, and unique is Elf.

Narrated (by Bob Newhart) just as any Christmas tale would be, the tale of Buddy the Elf (Ferrell) is a fantastical one about a little baby who crawls into Santa's sack one Christmas and gets brought back to the North Pole, where he is raised by the elves as one of them. Of course he grows (and quite literally, too) to realize he is not one of them, and at the age of thirty-something is finally sent back to the "real world"-- still in his elf garb, though!-- to find his real father, who is a titan in publishing.

And it is Ferrell's wide-eyed enthusiasm that makes this film truly spectacular and can excite just about any Scrooge for the wonder of the season. He turns simple lines like "I like to whisper, too" and "I just like to smile; smiling's my favorite!" into eager quotables well past the Christmas holiday and into the rest of the year. His play opposite the equally wide-eyed, if somewhat aloof Zooey Deschanel is endearing, as well. Everything from the magical wonderland Buddy creates in the department store, to the giant sugar breakfast he makes for his new family, to the moment where his little brother gets all of Central Park singing to raise Christmas cheer and Santa's sleigh, can warm even the iciest of hearts on a cold winter's night. Elf transcends age groups and puts everyone in the Christmas spirit!

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