Elf (PG)

Comedy 95 min. November 7, 2003
By Robert Wilonsky
Will Ferrell, recently seen streaking down Main Street in an Old School bender, spends the entirety of Elf in green tights and a pointy hat; it's his commitment to the costume this time that's truly amazing, transforming what could have been a sketch into something a wee bit more substantial. Ferrell plays Buddy, a human among elves, as oblivious as he is useless. It comes as a shock when he discovers he's not an elf at all, but a human whose daddy (James Caan) lives in New York City. You can, of course, see the ending climbing down the chimney well before Christmas Eve: Santa's sleigh can't fly without a full supply of Christmas cheer, and Caan, as a cynical publisher of books for the very children he can't seem to stomach, is the consummate Grinch. Will Buddy thaw his little black heart in time to propel Santa round the world? And will his daddy find a hit book in all this holiday fa-la-la? Do reindeer crap in the woods?
Jon Favreau Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner Jon Favreau, David Berenbaum Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki, Shauna Weinberg New Line Cinema

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