[Festive Friday] Elf

Welcome to the very first of my five special Festive Friday posts. This mini series is very much like my regular Favourites Friday series, except I will only being looking at Christmas films. Though you may not feel Christmassy yet – and I don’t particularly either! – we’re now into December so the holiday season will soon be upon us!

First up is one of my favourite Will Ferrell flicks, Elf.

Released in 2003, Elf is the story of Buddy the Elf. These aren’t your Middle-earth style elves, these are proper Christmas elves that are exactly what you’d expect: small and dressed in little felt suits with a hat and pointy shoes. The only thing out of place is Buddy – he’s a little on the large size…

To call him a little on the large size is being very, very polite...

Elf is a wonderful Christmas film, and there’s three particular reasons why it is always a must watch at Cinematic Delights HQ at this time of the year.

1. The comedy element

There are many famous sayings about laughter and the ability to make people laugh. My favourite has to be: “laughter is the best medicine”. I have several films I like to watch if ever I’m feeling a bit blue or under the weather and Elf is one of them. Buddy is certainly one of Ferrell’s best performances, if not the best. Buddy is such a likeable, fun character who is impossible not to like.

Like any good comedy film there are plenty of quotable lines. One of the best has got to be this one:

2. Family relationships

Christmas is undoubtedly a time for family, and Elf is packed full with family. As he soon find out, Buddy has a large extended family. As well as his adopted father he has his birth father, stepmother and younger brother. He also has feelings for the lovely Jovie, played by Zooey Deschanel.

Elf is very much a film about self discovery, and it’s fun to see how the other family members are affected by Buddy’s appearance. Happily, everyone does get along eventually.

James Caan is great fun as Buddy’s birth father, Walter. A high-flying businessman who works at a children’s book company, Walter doesn’t know what to think when Buddy turns up. His stepmother and half-brother are much more welcoming, with Michael acting as Buddy’s romantic guru regarding Jovie.

Bob Newhart is lovely as Papa Elf, Buddy’s adopted father who supports his son in his decision to find Walter.

3. A real Christmas

Elf portrays Christmas is a very stereotypical manner, which I love. Father Christmas is, as I’ve always imagined, an older fellow with a big white beard, glasses and red suit. Like I said earlier, the elves are small and dressed in little felt suits with a hat and pointy shoes. They all live happily together at the North Pole and yes, there are reindeers as well.

New York City is also how I expect it at Christmas, packed full with shoppers with all the department stores bursting with Christmassy goodness. There’s lots of snow on the ground and decorations fill the streets.

Sometimes, you really do just want a film that is literally bursting to the seams with Christmas!

  • What do you think of Elf? Is it a must watch for you?
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18 thoughts on “[Festive Friday] Elf”

  1. Yes, I really like this one too. Of course it has the Zooey Deschanel factor – it is difficult to quantify it but it has something to do with butterflies in the stomach when she appears on screen! 😉

    …but I think this is one of Ferrell’s best roles – it is really suited to him. And the film is fairly unique as well as being funny.

    I like these sorts of reviews you’re doing Claire – with the different headings! 🙂

    1. Hehe, the Deschanel factor 😛

      I think it did really suit him. Most of the time I like Ferrell’s performances but certainly not all the time.

      I’ll try to come up with some more headings to fill the rest of the week!

  2. One of my favorite christmas films, I hope I’ll be able to watch it this year too.
    I also like the stereotypical christmas, and I really want to be in New York one day at christmas time.

    1. I agree, Mette, I like how stereotypical everything is. It’s exactly how you imagine Santa, the elves and the North Pole would be like.

      I’d love to spend Christmas and New Year in New York – I’ll see you over there!

  3. I hated this film when I first saw it – I just couldn’t get past Will Ferrell’s squirmingly bad performance….. until I realised that that’s what he was going for. The more I’ve seen this, the less I’ve hated it, until it’s now at the point where I don’t mind it if it’s on the telly.

    This and Stranger Than Fiction are about the only two films I enjoy with Ferrell in them…..

    1. I’ve only seen Stranger Than Fiction once so it’s definitely time for a rewatch!

      Like I said to Dan, most of the time I like Ferrell’s performances but definitely not all the time. I’m glad it’s growing on you!

  4. Looks like I am the Grinch, how typical! I did not like this film and I don’t really enjoy Christmas movies in general, I’m afraid! My favorite movie set at Christmas time is EYES WIDE SHUT, which doesn’t really have anything else to do with Christmas other than the setting.

  5. “You sit on a throne of lies!” hahaha, great quote from Elf!

    I LOVE this film and watch it numerous times at Christmas time. I’m not a big Will Ferrell fan, but this one is always a must-watch!!

    So much of a good-feel film! Thanks for showcasing this! Can’t wait for the rest of the Festive Fridays!

  6. There’s countless better christmas films than Elf, but this is the most recent ‘classic’. There hasn’t been a lot of memorable christmas movies in recent years, but Elf is among the top 20. Fun post. Look forward to your other picks.

  7. How uncanny! I was at a clinic to accompany my hubby for a check up and Elf was playing. It’s one of those movies one can’t help tuning in when it’s played on TV y’know. I enjoyed it when I saw it, but haven’t seen it again in years. I forgot James Caan is in this, too.

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