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Released: November 28th 2003 UK)

Director: Jon Favreau

Stars:Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan

Certificate:PG (UK)

Reviewer: Luke Walkley

Will Ferrell has graced us with some great comedies. While he may not be to everyone’s taste, his career has given us fine comedy roles including Ron Burgundy in Anchorman and Brennan Huff in Step Brothers. It is his performance as Buddy the Elf that is perhaps his most well known to movie watchers.

Buddy a Man brought up as an Elf after sneaking into Santa’s sleigh during a visit to his orhpanage, inadvertently causes mayhem in his Elf home due to his abnormal size. Sent to the United States to search for his true identity and his real father, Buddy experiences the highs and lows of being a real human when he meets his father. A misdirected man, who happens to be on Santa Claus’ naughty list.

As mentioned Will Ferrell has a knack for playing memorable comic characters and Buddy is certainly one of them. Unable to accept the reality of his situation, he continues on his journey through New York believing he is an actual elf. The misconception leads to more than one inconvenient situation for him and the people around him. However it is Ferrells comic timing that hits home even the most predictable encounter. Fantastic facial expressions and the high possibility that Will Ferrell might actually believe he is an elf in real life all add up to create a fantastic persona.

The supporting cast lend themselves well to the overall feel. James Caan gives a stern performance as Walter Hobbs, the man who had forgotten about his family and focused solely on his work. Zooey Deschanel lends to the film, her relatively unknown at the time, acting and singing talents as Jovie, A young lady who works with Buddy at Gimbels, a Christmas superstore where he can put his previous lifestyle as an Elf, to good use.
The film actually manages to deliver a subtle sentimental message amongst the comedy. While the theme of forgotten family is always present amongst Christmas films, it is easy to watch Elf and forget that it does contain a message of family.

The plotline is hardly Inception, but its exactly what you should expect from a Christmas comedy. With an overall family feel, Ferrells comedy style allows for some more adult humour to be entwined within the dialogue. Elf is certainly one of the best Christmas films of recent years and while it may not stand the test of time, its style certainly sits well within this age of the brat-pack comedy.

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