Monday, November 14, 2011

Will Ferrell is a Paradoxical Elf


Yup, so we're getting to that time of year again. I know we've only just gone into November, but already I've seen tons of ads and stores displaying their christmas treats. In fact, just the other day I actually went to the Nutcracker Christmas Market. It also means that it's the time of year when we start to see christmas films turning up on our tv guides, and today was a double feature of Elf.
Now, I'm just going to say this now. This is one of my all-time favourite christmas films. It just makes me happy and puts me in one heck of an xmas mood. You can watch the trailer below:


Okay, so lets get onto the review. By now, I'm sure that most people have- at some point- seen this film. But for those of you out there who haven't, here's a little background info.

So, the film came out in 2003 and is basically the tale of a human named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) growing up in the North Pole with Santa and his elves. Ergo, this makes him believe that he is also an elf, despite some obvious differences, the most obvious one being his size. An average elf is, I would guesstimate, about 3/4 the height of the average human. Then we have the elves next to Will Ferrell, all 6ft 3in of him. Anyway, so the film is basically about Buddy finding out that he was adopted and traveling to New York to find his real father, and all the shenanigans and trials that comes with him trying to deal with our very real, very un-sugarcoated  world, as well as trying to connect to his new-found family- mostly his "naughty-listed" father (James Caan) and getting the girl of his dreams (played by Zoooey Deschanel).

Now, I'm not exactly sure what makes this film so funny for me. I know a lot of people don't like Will Ferrell, and therefore any films he's in. With Will Ferrell, I always feel that his film is either going to be a hit or miss. Either very good or truly terrible. This was definitely the former. The childlike joy that he brings to the characters view of a new world is impossible to not get caught up in. When I watch this film, I want to sing christmas songs really loud, walk out in the snow, make a lot of christmas decorations and eat cotton balls. I also love the humour that we get just from watching him play an elf. To have this ridiculously tall man playing what is essentially a child, adds to the movie from the second it starts.

 I know a lot of people might not like this film, but for me it's a christmas staple that I look forward to every year. It's like About a Boy. It is on EVERY christmas, usually more than once, without fail. But this film is just so childlike and joyful and brings a kind of glee and christmas spirit that can be shared with all the family and is rarely found. Whatever your age. It's just like a Charlie Brown Christmas Special. You can't help but feel a little better after watching it. And I just love all the little details that make this film the xmas gem that it is. From a mini scale model of New York made purely out of lego to the strange alien puffin at the beginning of the film. The movie has a variety of humour, so there will be at least one joke that each viewer will like. Ranging from crude and pretty un- pc to jokes made purely using a child's innocence. For me, my favourite scenes are the ones inside of Gimbles. I can't help cracking up at the joy on Buddy's face everytime he yells, "SANTA!! I know him, I know him."And at the end, it all ties together as we get to watch Buddy grow. He cheerfully struggles through the gigantic culture shock, of not only no longer living in what was, in essence, "Candyland", but to then go into what is one of the most notoriously, unfriendly places, New York. And on top of that, everyone thinks he's crazy and nobody believes that his family or upbringing is even real. AND, his birth father seems to hate him, even going so far as to get a DNA test. Yet, through it all, he never stops smiling or wanting to bring happiness to other's. But, it is his father who grows the most. Going from a workaholic who never has time for his family and has very little christmas spirit, to the caring man he is at the end. His character may be a little cliche, but it still works. And at christmas, I feel like we're not looking for a brilliantly put together film, just a simple one that will make us happy and take us back to our childhood- when we'd try to stay up all night trying to get a peek at Santa.  The film also offers amazing sets and a ridiculous amount of christmas joy.  A treat for the whole family, young to old. Whether you watch it alone, or with a huge group of friends or family, I guarantee this film will have to looking forward to christmas the way only a child can.