‘Elf’ is Exactly What We Wanted for Christmas
Is there anything funnier than a man in tights? I think not.
Case in point: ‘Elf’ stars a tights-clad, six-foot-three Will Ferrell (Old School, Saturday Night Live) as a human who lives in the North Pole and thinks he’s an elf.
Buddy (Ferrell) is an orphaned human child who stowed away into Santa’s bag one fateful Christmas Eve. Remaining undiscovered until returning to the North Pole, Buddy was quickly taken in by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) and set to live in the elf world. However, once Buddy grew to be three times the full-grown elf size, it became apparent that Buddy didn’t exactly fit in. With large hands, Buddy is unable to do the same kind of delicate craft work that is accomplished by the other elves with smaller and nimble hands. As a result, Buddy sets out to New York City in search of both his biological father, Walter (James Caan), and his place in the world.
There’s just one problem: Buddy’s father is on Santa’s naughty list. In an attempt to capture his father’s attention and love, Buddy wins the heart of his stepmother Emily (Mary Steenburgen), 10-year-old half-brother Michael (Daniel Tay) and friendly co-worker and object-of-desire Jovie (Zooey Deschanel).
The plot, though seemingly ridiculous, is extremely entertaining due to Ferrell’s talents and those of the strong supporting cast.
Caan plays an effective Scrooge character without taking his performance unnecessarily over the top. His character comes across as real