Christmas Can Be Cool: Elf

2 Dec

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Jon Favreau’s Elf is the kind of movie that lives or dies by its jokes – fortunately enough, Elf‘s are pretty funny. Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised elf-style in the North Pole who has come to New York seeking his biological father (played by James Caan). Fish-out-of-water hijinks ensue. Elf‘s biggest strength lies in its impeccable casting: Bob Newhart plays Buddy’s adoptive elf-father, Peter Dinklage kills in a cameo as the most successful children’s book writer this side of Dr. Seuss, Amy Sedaris somehow transforms a minor role into an integral piece of the movie’s fabric, and I still haven’t even mentioned Ed Asner, Kyle Gass, or Andy Richter. With Elf, Favreau combines the trappings of a modern comedy with a real affection for the classic Christmas specials of yore (it even has an opening credit sequence straight out of Rankin-Bass!). It is delightful.

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