Day 1 - Elf

There are those who hate Will Ferrell and those who love him. I'm not sure if there's anyone in between, but for the sake of this thought and sentence, let's say that it's true. I fell into the first camp for a little while. When I watched Saturday Night Live pretty regularly in the 90s, I felt he was too over the top, especially in that cheerleaders sketch.

Over time, though, I came to like him. There must have been something in the air during 2003-2004 because he was in 3 pretty great movies: Old School, Anchorman, and the movie we just got finished watching, Elf.

The purpose of this 25 Christmassy Days of Christmas Movies blog experiment is not to provide a synopsis of each movie but to express our thoughts of it and if it embodies the Christmas spirit. Odds are we may get sick of the holiday sometime in the middle of the month and decide to convert to Judaism (hello to our Jewish readers--trying not to leave out some of our friends out there!).

It's still pretty early in the holiday season. We've just put away the rest of our Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations. Starting to think about Christmas, so Elf was a good movie to begin with. Highly quotable lines. Decent storyline. Nothing too sappy. Instead of staring wide-eyed thinking about snow and presents and such, I had more questions come to mind. For instance, Papa Elf mentions that no human has ever been in Santa's workshop. Okay, seems legit. After all, Santa is the head elf. However, he's the size of a human. So, what gives? The other elves didn't tell Buddy that he was human, so I'm sure the elves are looking the other way about the other tall guy. Someone indeed sits on a throne of lies, but this time, it IS Santa.

What Elf does is less a heartwarming story about instilling the Christmas spirit into a bunch of jaded New Yorkers and more a satire of the state of our publishing industry. Walter Hobbs, in search of the almighty dollar, forsakes creativity and art to sign off on blank pages that eventually get published. This causes the board of his company to fly in for a pitch on Christmas Eve, where Walter gets fired for choosing family over career. No wonder the print industry is losing ground to digital.

Elf is guilty of the major flaw of constantly making its audience suspend their disbelief. Sure we can believe that an orphan raised by elves in the North Pole walked to New York City to find his father, but the writers of the movie keep stretching that rubber band to the point of snapping. Jon Favreau getting the results of a DNA test in minutes? A guy in the elevator forced to ride up and stop on every floor in the Empire State Building instead of getting off 1 floor up and taking another elevator? A news anchor who, because the feed drops, proclaims an end to the news story without any follow up? It's these nuances that almost diverted my attention away from the Christmas cheer.

Much like the magic gauge in Santa's sleigh, I can feel the Christmas spirit beginning to rise. It's still around 10%, so I can expect to slightly hover above the ground when I move. For the next 24 days, I plan to continue to watch these movies and partake in the 4 food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.

What's YOUR favorite color?

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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