Repeat Watch: Elf (2003)
The immensely popular Christmas film Elf was released in 2003 and directed by the wonderful Jon Favreau. The film follows Buddy, a human raised in the North Pole as an elf, who travels to New York to find his father. The film starred Will Ferrell as Buddy with Bob Newhart voicing the narration and playing Buddy’s adoptive father. The film also features a supporting cast in James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, and Edward Asner. The film was a financial and critical success in 2003, and since its release, it has been consistently voted as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
So, what specifically makes it worth the rewatch?
1) It’s Absolutely Hilarious
I realize that this point all kind of depends on your sense of humor, but this film makes me laugh out loud every time. It’s not just the giant elf outfit that Will Ferrell wears; it’s his whole outlook throughout the film. It’s the fact that a grown man is shouting about Santa in a department store. It’s the list of items he wants to do with his dad and his sugar centric food combinations that are not healthy for any human being. Ultimately, though, it’s Buddy’s pure joy and innocence that is comical next to the overall cynical nature of many other characters around him.
2) Buddy’s Journey
So, while this movie is hilarious to me, it also has a lot of heart. While Buddy is definitely a comical character in his yellow leggings and green elf coat, he is on a serious journey. He leaves the world he has always known but never fit into to find his biological father. It is a classic fish out of water situation, and Buddy has a lot to learn in this new world. However, he also has a lot to give, and it is Buddy’s impact on others that makes this film endearing as well as entertaining.
3) It’s Perfect for Christmas
Christmas is the perfect time to put on some family friendly films full of fuzzy moments, and on that front, Elf completely delivers. In this story we get Santa, his reindeer, and plenty of elves, but we also get a sweet story about Christmas cheer. Also, it’s not very often that a Will Ferrell movie warrants a PG rating, but Elf is pretty safe for the family to watch together on a cold evening. It’s pretty much everything a holiday film should be. Also, there are enough Christmas decorations present in this movie to inspire you to cut out at least a few of your own paper snowflake chains.
In some ways, I suppose it feels pretty self-explanatory as to why Elf is worth a repeat watch. I personally love a good Christmas movie, and Elf is surprisingly one of the cutest Christmas movies around. It has humor and heart, and it has a main character who has a compelling journey. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing Bob Newhart in an elf outfit? Regardless, this film will probably be playing on every major network at some point during the countdown to Christmas, so be sure to tune in sometime for another viewing.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). She also loves the Christmas season, so you can follow her many festive adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.