Why the Will Ferrell comedy Elf is still the best Christmas …

There is a scene in this elf Where Will Ferrell’s Buddy goes to a coffee shop in New York City when he spots a sign in the window that reads, “The World’s Best Cup of Coffee.” He then praises the entire staff for making the best version of the popular drink. Says with great joy, “You did it! Congratulations. World’s best cup of coffee. Everyone did a great job,” the employee glares at him. Let’s say the sign reads, “The World’s Best Christmas Movie,” and I’m playing Buddy in 2003, congratulating the cast and crew of elf To create a Christmas classic. I would get the same confused looks from everyone in the room. Still, times have been good elfWhich has aged like a fine wine.

20 years later, elf has joined the ranks of great Christmas movies and owns the championship belt for best of the 21st century. Released in theaters on 7 November 2003, elf Depicts the story of Buddy, a human raised by Santa’s elves after he is accidentally taken to the North Pole. As an adult, Buddy has been ostracized due to his large stature and inability to make toys. After learning that he is a human, Buddy leaves the North Pole for New York City to find his biological father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan). Walter is a selfish businessman whose decision to prioritize work over his family lands him on the “Naughty List.” Devastated, but not discouraged, Buddy believes that by spending time with Walter, his Christmas spirit will rub off on his father and reshape his perspective.

right people at the right time

A Yogini sees a man and woman sitting at a desk in Yogini.
New Line Cinema

Imagine telling someone in 2003 that Mugatu is in ZoolanderSonny Corleone from The Godfather Trilogy, and the Man Who Wrote swingers Working together to create a timeless Christmas classic. Let’s start with Ferrell, who is best known for his time Saturday night Live Before 2003. Ferrell was still trying to make the transition from a minor character to a movie star. apart from night in roxbury, Ferrell appeared primarily in supporting roles, including Mustafa Austin Powersin range Zoolanderand skye corrigan in supper star, These small and impactful roles are the best examples of Ferrell’s innate ability to steal scenes.

But 2003 would change Ferrell’s career. In February 2003, Ferrell starred in old school as Frank the Tank, an iconic character in the actor’s filmography that showcased his potential as a star. Later that year, Ferrell put on some spandex and traded the beer for syrup. elf, Ferrell plays Buddy so sweetly that it’s amazing to see the guy play a silly, lovable, and heartwarming character. No one could have predicted that 2003 would mark the beginning of Ferrell’s run as the top comedy actor for the next decade, with his only contemporary being Adam Sandler.

Ferrell received much credit for his performance elf, and rightfully so, but the supporting cast deserves just as much praise, especially James Caan. The late actor epitomized masculinity thanks to his roles in the 1970s and 1980s Saint, the gambler, rollerAnd Thief, Pairing this strong, muscular actor with Zanny Ferrell was an example of genius. After being Scrooge for three-quarters of the movie, the moment when Walter finally believes in the Christmas spirit and accepts Buddy as his son is a heartwarming moment that feels earned.

The rest of the cast includes Mary Steenburgen as Emily Hobbs, Walter’s wife, who shows compassion and care upon Buddy’s arrival; Daniel Tay as Michael, Walter’s son and Buddy’s partner, who perfectly embodies the baggy clothing revolution of the early 2000s; beforenew girl And 500 days of Summer Zooey Deschanel as Jovi, Buddy’s co-worker who is impressed by his kindness and becomes his girlfriend; and comedians Ed Asner and Bob Newhart as Santa Claus and Papa Elf.

Combine it all with director Jon Favreau, best known for playing D-Bob Rudy And Mike in Swingers, and elf It seems to be a matter of getting people to the right place at the right time. Really, who could have predicted this? elf’s The director will debut the MCU iron Man And become the MVP of Lucasfilm The Mandalorian,

New York City as a character

There’s nothing like New York City during the holidays. From the Christmas tree and ice rink at Rockefeller Center to the Empire State Building and Central Park, New York City plays an integral role. elf, The city takes on a life of its own during the holiday season, and elf The film does a great job of weaving scene-stealing locations into the story, such as when Buddy had to go through seven levels of a candy cane forest and a sea of ​​twisting gum drops before walking through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Anyone living in New York City can feel that it is dirty, crowded, and crowded most of the time. Don’t even get me started about rats and garbage. Nevertheless, the city comes alive in November and December. People are more cheerful and cheerful. And it seems realistic that a group of eccentric New Yorkers would band together to sing on Christmas Eve Santa Claus is coming to town. elf It’s a gentle reminder of how magical New York City can be.

The Elf’s message still works in 2023

Buddy the Elf stands at a table with the elves.
New Line Cinema

The true test of an all-time film is its timeless nature. elf 20 years old, and apart from Michael’s fashion, virtually nothing feels old. Apart from the troublesome songs baby It’s Cold Outside, elf’s Audiences don’t have to go through the mental gymnastics of rooting for poorly aged subjects or canceled actors. This is the rare Christmas movie that satisfies all age groups and demographics, from young girls who still believe in Santa, to a bar full of bikers.

The Christmas spirit and holiday cheer never ends, and never will. elf, Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make some spaghetti with maple syrup for breakfast.

elf Streaming on Max. It is also available on Hulu.

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