Though I thought twice about reviewing a movie that no doubt has been reviewed too many times to count, I couldn’t help myself. Elf – 2003, New Line Cinema, is my selection for Day 22 of my Christmas Movie Review.
In fact, I resisted watching Elf until last summer (I know, crazy.) when a friend loaned me her DVD. It is one those movies that make you wonder why you held out so long. You may think my review is a foregone conclusion, but I do have a caveat.
For those who might not have watched Elf yet, this is a story about a man named Buddy who was raised by elves, specifically Papa Elf. He travels to New York to find his real father – a man on Santa’s naughty list.
I’ll go straight to the highlights — and yes, lowlights.
Highlights – in no particular order:
- Buddy bonds with his brother Michael after saving him with his extraordinary snowball-throwing skills.
- I can’t help it – I love surprise animal moments. (Also high on my list is the catapulting squirrel from Christmas Vacation.)
- Buddy surprises Jove by accompanying her on Baby, It’s Cold Outside next to her shower.
- Jove sings Santa Claus is Coming to Town – I got tears in my eyes as the crowd slowly joins in (at about :43-ish on the above link), and begins to power Santa’s disabled sleigh with the energy of their believing in him.
- Peter Billingsly from A Christmas Story played Ming Ming, the elf.
- As Buddy the Elf, Will Ferrell was the embodiment of wonder and being in the moment; he should’ve gotten an Oscar for the acting genius he displayed.
- We get to watch other heavy hitters:
- James Caan as Buddy’s biological father with issues to be resolved
- Bob Newhart as Papa Elf
- Ed Asner as Santa
- Mary Steenburgen as Buddy’s new mom
- We get to watch fairly-newbies at the time:
- Peter Dinklage – You’ll have to watch; this is way pre-Game of Thrones.
- Zooey Deschanel as Buddy’s love interest
Lowlight = Food Grossness.
Even though Santa told him not to eat gum on the ground, Buddy didn’t apply that logic to the wads stuck underneath railings.
I cringed when he stuffed cotton ball after cotton ball into his mouth at the doctor’s office.
And worst for me (even after he explained he followed the four main food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup) was watching the sophomoric way he shoveled spaghetti coated with syrup, gumdrops, poptarts, and more into his mouth; although I was impressed that he didn’t get a spot on his Elfin togs.
In the end, though I was left to ponder why there was no Mrs. Claus nor Mama Elf to be found, I loved Santa’s advice to “Treat every day as Christmas.”
I still had to deduct .5 for the sicko-food display.
I gave this movie 4.5 of 5 “swirly twirly gum drops”. ♥♥♥♥1/2