Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 07/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't do Christmas. I've mentioned that before, but then again some people may not have taken me too seriously (I find the concept to be self-centered and manufactured). That said, some may balk at me gushing over a Christmas movie, but I like what I like and this movie deserves my attention. Talk about a movie that defies expectations. Looking at the trailer for this film or glancing at the DVD cover and you'd think it's going to be `stupid funny' so when the film winds up displaying genuine sincerity with every laugh you find yourself scratching your hear in disbelief.
This film has serious heart.
The film tells the story of Buddy, a human who was adopted by Christmas elves when he was a baby and raised to believe that he too was an elf. He made for a rather clumsy elf, being that he is kind of gigantic, and so he was eventually told the truth about his origin and sent off to the real world to find his human parents. He does find his father, but that doesn't go over very well (especially since Buddy is so genuine in his overall naivety that he comes across like a complete nut-job).
Sure, there is that whole `Christmas spirit' mumbo-jumbo that is so beautiful in context yet so inaccurate in application, but it works marvelously in this family centric film that nails nearly every mark it attempts to hit.
This film just has `it'.
In fact, this film has heaps of `it' in the form of Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen and Zooey Deschanel. I mean, really...what a marvelous cast. Ferrell is just effortless and so wonderfully delightful as Buddy. He captures the tone of this character with ease and delivers a performance we will remember and adore. James Caan handles a stereotype with gusto, and Bob Newhart is just so huggable as Papa Elf. I've always had a soft spot for Steenburgen, even when she hasn't deserved it, and Zooey Deschanel should be in EVERY movie.
If you want a smart, witty, charming family film that will defy odds and really deliver than this is the one for you, whether you engage in the traditions that come from this over-hyped holiday or not."