So tonite I wandered down the street to see me some Elf. I was late getting there so I actually bought ripoff snacks at the theater. I was disappointed to see that the Court Street theater doesn't have Twizzlers anymore. They got these like other Twizzleresque things called Red Cables or something- so I got those and a water. When I got to my seat I had missed pretty much all the previews. I just saw one for Cat in the Hat. That movie looks ubersucky. You know what else is ubersucky? Red Cables or whatever the hell the frickin fake twizzlers are called! First off they're in a loud nonmoviefriendly crinkley bag which seemed intentionally difficult to open to maximize the crinkality! And second, they suck! They taste bad! Twizzlers kick their ass up and down Licorice Lane! F Red Cables! and F Court Street Cinema! for saving their precious pennies and skimp ordering and ripping us off with that crap!!
Anyway, Elf. Let's start with Will Ferrell. I am a big fan of this guy. I like how he screams. I like when he takes his shirt off. I like his Harry Carey. I never liked the cheerleader bit but pretty much everything else he did, I liked. He can make stuff that's so not funny... way funny (which really comes in handy on SNL usually). So I was like happy to see that he didn't get stuck in some bad flick for his first solo outing like Corky Romano or some dumpster reel. This Elf role was a really good fit for him. It gave him the chance to act oblivious and screamy and goofball. Not bad stupid. Good stupid!
I laughed alot at this flick. It's got a huge splash of funny coming from the Ferrell. He was on screen most of the time and that was a good thing because every time he wasn't on screen the movie hit a speed bump which kept sobering me up out of sillyville. And I'd have to keep readjusting to focus on the Ferrell. To make a long story short, Santa accidentally kidnaps this human baby and it gets raised as an elf with elves and but when he grows up he doesn't fit in too well so he goes to find his real human dad in New York (James Caan). Blah blah blah whatever. The story was original. The plot was weakass. The whole movie was carried by Ferrell being elf-oblivious and wackily positive and friendly in the big city. He was enough to make this whole movie worthwhile and he made me crack up enough times that I was happy. At one point his department store boss looked at his goofy smile and asked him, 'Why are you smiling that way?' And he says while still smiling, 'I like smiling. Smiling is my favorite.' --That's gold, Willy! Gold!
But this movie really does drop the ball plotwise and also sidecharacterwise. Almost all side characters were either difficult to look at, listen to, or had no personality. One standout was this dwarf dude who lit up the screen when he came on. But other than that for the most part the side characters were worthless. (Actually Bob Newhart was also good but he's always good.) Without Ferrell, this movie would have probably been a disaster. They forced alot and sugared it up it out of obligation and on the walkout I didn't feel as holiday tingley as I would have liked. But if you like the Ferrell you can't help but dig this movie on a bunch of levels- including the bizarre. And like a good holiday consumer I dove in on this prefab holiday cheer.
Three Good Things About This Movie
- The North Pole looked great. It was fun to just look
at and it was a good bright new take on the pole of the north.
- Just Will Ferrell's outfit alone could have carried half the movie.
- The movie was loaded with little innocent ferrelelvish gems.
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- James Caan wasn't fun or funny.
- The little kid wasn't fun or funny.
- Santa wasn't fun or funny.
All in all this movie is a good getaway flick. If you just need to step outside your head and watch something intentionally dopey for whatever -it's worth seeing. Ferrell is great. But toward the end the movie the wrapping paper starts falling off the box and you can see this fun looking gift... is really just a fruitcake. So don't even bother unwrapping it. Just stick it under the tree, admire the bow, smile, and act like you don't know what's really inside.