For my first Christmas special review, I thought I would go with the one that has only come out more recently. I know a lot of people really like Elf, and I do too, but I am going to have to put it pretty low on this list. Mostly because since this movie came out, it has become the only thing that my teachers would show to class during Christmas time. I thought that after high school they might show us something else, maybe Nightmare Before Christmas or Die Hard. Seriously guys, are there no other good Christmas specials out there? I know that this one has Will Ferrell and everything, but come on! I will admit that this was only pointed out to me by a friend a few years ago. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if Congress decided to pass another useless bill, but it keeps happening, and I find this unacceptable!
Now that being said, I want to clarify that I don’t hate the movie, I actually quite enjoy it. For one thing, this is the one of the few times where Will Ferrell pulls off his whole man-child act and it’s actually quite funny and charming. You have to give credit to the director, Jon Favreau (who would go on to direct Iron Man. Who knew?) for being able to pull it off. Also the way it makes those little references to other Christmas specials that we can all identify is pretty cute (all the stop-motion animals and the elf’s uniforms is clearly a salute to the Rankin-Bass specials that were back from when my parents were growing up). The humor in it is also very innocent as well, but also very enjoyable. You know how there are those specials that were made with ONLY kids in mind? Well this is not one of them. The humor is very kid-friendly but also enjoyable enough for adults that they don’t have to continue to look at their watches praying this will end soon. Okay, I will admit that at times it may have gotten a little corny, but it never really kept me from enjoying it. I was also kind of surprised to see that they got James Caan to be in this movie. Not to say that I thought he would turn it down or anything, it’s just a little unexpected coming from a guy whose resume includes The Godfather, Eraser, and Misery.
Not much else to say about this movie. I’m trying to think, what else did I like about this movie? Ah yes! Probably that it has one of the single cutest, funniest, dorkiest, most likable and all around one of the most angelic women in all of Hollywood: Zooey Deschanel. I don’t care if you were in The Happening, we still love you!
To conclude, I would like to say that while I think it tends to get overplayed a little bit around the holidays, I can’t really knock people for enjoying it. How can I? It was one of the few incidents where a comedy icon who mostly marketed to adults tried to reach out to kids and it actually worked out. I still find it surprising that the director of Iron Man was the one that directed this, but that only shows his true talent since he has shown that he can make both good action movies as well as heart-warming Christmas classics.
Final Grade: B+
Also, before I end this, I should mention that this is in no particular order. Just because this is number 12 does not mean that I like it the least.