Viewed – 21 December 2011 Blu-ray
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas movie. Last year was a bit of a let down (cough, A Christmas Carol, cough), but this year I was borrowed this much-loved movie starring comedy star Will Ferrell. Telling the tale of a baby who when Santa visited an orphanage, snook into his sack, and it wasn’t until Santa returned to the North Pole that he discovered he had a stowaway. Deciding to bring up the human baby amongst the elves in his workshop, after 30 years, Poppa Elf realises that ‘buddy’ the elf should be told the truth, and so sends him to New York to track down his real father, a mean-spirited business man, played by James Caan.
This is thoroughly charming stuff. At first I found it a touch too kiddie, with its near-cartoon like rendition of the north pole etc, but once events jumped to the big apple, I really began to enjoy myself. Will Ferrell is clearly a gifted comedy actor, and reminds me of Chevy Chase to a degree, and his slapstick antics and just all round likability, made him very easy to watch. Supporting Ferrell is James Caan in a role he’s done plenty of times, and doesn’t really deliver anything surprising (what, the mean business man discovers his softer side eventually? Who didn’t see that coming?!), and love-interest Zooey Deschanel is gorgeous, but offers little more than a pretty face and a good singing voice, with wafer-thin characterisation.
This is clearly Ferrell’s show then, which is no bad thing as he’s often laugh-out-loud funny, with many of the fish-out-of-water situations really hitting my funny bone. Considering up until now I was feeling a bit bar-humbug, this has got me in the Christmas spirit no end, and at this time of year, who can ask for more? The ending also, was feel-good heaven.
Verdict: 4 /5