Sunday, December 22, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Films: Elf {10}

I didn't plan it this way, but it seems that I saved the best for last...the last three films I'm going to review also happen to be my absolute favorite Christmas movies. :) Up next is my favorite modern Christmas movie: Elf.

I honestly don't know how anyone could not love this movie. It's just so silly and hilarious! Buddy the elf is one of the sweetest, friendliest, most na├»ve characters ever. And I love how spoofy this movie is and all of the references to classic Christmas films.

The color scheme of the North Pole at the beginning is gorgeous! The gray backgrounds and the brightly colored elf uniforms. Apparently the elf costumes from Elf were modeled after the ones in the 1964 Rudolph Christmas special. And there are the arctic animals (my favorite is the narwhal :) that are made to look like the stop motion animation creatures from the Rudolph special. Other references to classic Christmas films: Gimbels. Macy's and Gimbels were big competitors (as seen in Miracle on 34th Street), but Gimbels closed during the 80s. So the fact that Buddy works and plays (and sleeps) in that store in impossible, but a neat little reference anyway. :) I was shocked when I found out that Gimbels wasn't actually open anymore...Also, towards the end there's a scene where Buddy is standing on a bridge, while it's snowing, which is of course a nod to It's a Wonderful Life.

Another perfect thing about Elf is the soundtrack. It's so awesome. Louis Prima's Pennies from Heaven, a jazzy version of The Nutcracker Suite, Ella Fitzgerald's Sleigh Ride, Lena Horne's Let It Snow, and some other lovely songs. But most importantly, in one of the sweetest (and funniest) first date scenes ever, Frank Sinatra! And of course it's one of my favorite Sinatra songs: You Make Me Feel So Young.

Two other little random things that I love about the movie: the fact that it's set in New York and the way that the cartoon snowflakes are falling when Buddy is talking to the animated characters at the North Pole. I don't even like small cities, so I know I wouldn't like huge cities like New York. But for some reason, most of my favorite films are set in big cities. I think it makes a wonderful setting for a movie, but I surely wouldn't want to live there. :) And I don't know what it is about those cartoon snowflakes, but they're just so magical.

Elf probably wins the "Funniest Christmas Film Ever" award. No matter how many times I watch it, it still makes me laugh. And the best thing is that there's all sorts of humor, instead of just one kind: slapstick, witty lines, funny misunderstandings, quirkiness, etc. And Buddy has so many hilarious lines. Elf is one of the most quotable movies, too! "I like to smile, smiling's my favorite." "We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." And sometimes I just randomly say "Francisco" repeatedly because it's fun to say and because of the scene where Buddy is saying it. Probably shouldn't have told you guys that, but oh well. :)

I can't pick a favorite scene from the film...I just love too many of them! One that stands out, though, is the montage when Buddy first arrives in the city and starts exploring. :) I also love it when he's eating the cotton balls. And all of the scenes in the department store. ("There's no singing at the North Pole!" "Yes, there is!" "No, there's not!" "Yes, there is!" "No, there's not!" "Yes there is! We sing all the time.")

I guess I haven't really talked about the rest of the cast or the plot. :) I like Zooey Deschanel a lot (love She & Him's music!), so I like her in Elf. It's weird seeing her with blond hair, but I love watching her gradually get sucked into Elf's bizarre world. :) The rest of the cast is good, too. The plot is fine...not anything particularly brilliant, but it works for this movie. And it's pretty good considering it's so focused on the Santa/elves/North Pole aspect of Christmas (which is generally not my favorite).

So yeah...I don't really know what else to say. I just love this movie so much, and except for some scattered language, it's nearly perfect. If you haven't watched Elf, what are you waiting for??

What's your favorite Buddy the elf quote?


  1. (This is Victoria, from HopeWriter - I'm anonymous because I have a notoriously difficult time leaving comments using any other log in method.) I'm LOVING your blog!!! I feel like we must be long-lost twins, we love so many of the same things. I'm right there with you on the awesomeness of "Elf." My favorite Buddy the Elf quote (it's so hard to choose!!) would have to be a toss-up between "I just love smiling, smiling's my favorite!" and the increasing panic in his voice as he calls, "Dad? Dad?? DAD??" :D

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