Cert: PG / 93 mins / Dir. Jon Favreau
So, not a first viewing of 2003's Elf, but the only time I've seen it in a cinema, plus it's been a few years since I last watched Will Ferrell fidget and squirm slightly, as if director Jon Favreau's not letting him really cut loose the way he'd like.
The thing is, it is quite a good movie. True, there's that odd sort of emotional disconnect whereby the only character you can really warm to seems to exhibit naivety to the point of undiagnosed learning-difficulties. True, the casting of Will Ferrell and James Caan probably wasn't the best choice, as Ferrell struggles with sincerity and Caan struggles with humour, which are the two tentpoles of any Christmas comedy, and true, the film would have had a far greater energy with Jim Carrey as Buddy. True, Zooey Deschanel's character, Jovie, is under-written to the point of being a placeholder image, and Mary Steenburgen's Emily isn't far behind. And true, the film is essentially Crocodile Dundee meets Big, with a few homages to Back To The Future thrown in at the end, and set at Christmas.
But y'know what? I quite like it. When the final reel comes around, the Elf delivers like a rejuvenated Santa Claus, and the film's message of simple, old-fashioned goodwill brings a grin to my face. Not quite a teary-eye, but we can't have everything...
Well, it's not as madcap as that trailer would have you believe, but it's about right tonally.
Mostly, but probably not as hard as I was supposed to.
I think it probably does.
There's nothing overly cinematic about Elf, but if you're a fan then it's worth the trek.
Of course I bloody will.
There ain't. Plenty of opportunities, too.
Why isn't Buddy just sectioned, though? I mean, other than this being a PG-rated family Christmas movie..?
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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