You didn’t think I’d get through the entire countdown and forget about Will Ferrell‘s syrupy spaghetti, did you? I mean, holy nutcrackers, what kind of blogger do you take me for? This A-lister went on the Jimmy Fallon show last week to excitedly announce his position as upgraded St. Nicholas, which surely tickles us all. From this point forward, Yule is expected to be equal parts exciting, hilarious and mildly inappropriate, so tuck in! It’s forming to be quite a ride.
“Elf” was released back in 2003, starring said comedy titan, plus the likes of James Caan, Peter Dinklage and Zooey Deschanel. At the helm of this ship stands Jon Favreau, who might ring jingly bells from the “Iron Man” franchise. However, during its relatively short life, the flick has managed to reach and surpass competitive heights in the Christmas film category.
We start at the beginning of things. Buddy is a newborn baby, who accidentally hitches a one-way ride from the nursery to the North Pole in Santa’s slay. Facing no alternative option, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), the head helper, raises him as one of their own with care and love, no matter how awkwardly tall Buddy keeps on growing. One day, the truth manages to escape. Buddy’s biological parent is a publishing magnate called Walter – a humbug, and a human one at that! A trip to New York City ensues, aimed to spread festive spirit through the force of family values. Buddy makes friends with younger brother Michael (Daniel Tay), kind of scores a job at Gimbles and falls head over heels for Jovie, a co-worker with a lovely voice. Although Walter is greedy, selfish and work-obsessed, perhaps Buddy will manage to get past his chilly exterior. Who said even the hardest of hearts couldn’t be melted with some Christmas joy? After all, the best way to spread cheer is sing it aloud for all to hear.
Not much of an introduction can be given to Will Ferrell. He has been in the television and film industry for over two decades, spanning between SNL glory and silver screen success. Audiences tend to recognise a comedic talent when they see one, which explains how he was spotted as early as 1997. Buddy is portrayed with such childlike naïvety and tireless positivity that no stone remains unturned on the feel trip of his family reunion. Ferrell has mastered an iconic blank expression, which is open to conveying every emotion a kid surrounded by infinite wonder would have. His performance, as usual, is tummy-turningly done, case and point being the gum chewing scene upon his NYC arrival. Pure gold.
Zooey Deschanel contributed to the visual ensemble, yet also landed a helping hand to the audio devision of this production. Her voice is the first sound that draws Buddy to a friendship. She’s the anchor, which keeps him from losing grip with optimism. The two quickly find chemistry together, even if it is not a sexual one, which throws a sprinkle of romance in “Elf”. Deschanel’s natural ability to impart sardonicism and do it with a charming smile really takes to the dark humour spectators, myself included.
I’ll keep this review a comparatively short one. After all, there’s only one more day until Christmas! You’d rather be re-pinning photographs of cakes and turkeys rather than reading analytical film articles, and you know what, I don’t blame you one bit. Christmas is a time to sit back and take a look at life’s bigger picture. Sit back and relax with a good movie!