Nick’s Flixmas: Elf


Now it may be to early to call Elf a Christmas classic, but it’s still has been ten years. I figure that’s a good enough wait period. Elf is one of those films that you have to watch at least once every year like I do. Now it’s not something I watch more than once, mind you. I like Will Ferrell as much as the next guy, and he’s wonderfully goofy here, but there’re better movies out there. 

Still, Elf is Elf and Will Ferrell is Will Ferrell…for better or worse. 

[Nick’s Flixmas is a 25 day celebration of films Nick watches every Christmas! Nick will do some analysis, review, and just generally walk down memory lane. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the ride. Merry Flixmas!]

After Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (hey, there’s a sequel coming out soon!), Will Ferrell stayed in a rut of career films. For some reason, he saw fit to star in a bunch of films where he played a wacky guy in a wacky career: Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Curious George (as the Man in the Yellow Hat), Blades of Glory, Semi Pro, Megamind, and Elf was one of those films. Since Elf existed years before Anchorman did, you can even argue that Elf started his whole “wacky career” phase off proper. But the great thing about Elf is that Ferrell isn’t trying as hard to be funny as he is in the others. Something feels genuine here. Whether it’s a result of the holiday, or whether it was Jon Favreau’s direction, everything is totes nicey nice. 

And then Will Ferrell is an elf who doesn’t fit in, sort of like Herbie from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But then he falls in love with a woman who can sing in the shower and loses her faith in Christmas or something. And then Christmas stuff happens. Honestly, it’s one of those movies that isn’t memorable for me. I’ll watch it, love its pleasantness, and then I subsequently forget about it. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. It’s just not that great. I’m sure you guys have pleasant memories of it, but I’m not one of those folks.

In fact, the only memory I have of it is when it was showed during my high school Spanish class. The day before, a substitute teacher showed us Friday After Next and I thought the intro to Elf was the same one from that movie. I was a dumb kid. But Elf isn’t that dumb. But it’s also not Friday After Next. 

That is a terrible screenshot. But it’s the only way I could catch the turrible stuntman that totally isn’t Will Ferrell and somehow that’s so much more entertaining that it is normally. Uh, Merry Flixmas? 

Tomorrow? Gremlins!