Holiday Review: Elf

Neeva Patel

Once he discovers he is human, Buddy the Elf leaves his home at the North Pole and travels to New York in hopes of finding his real family. However, after being raised by Santa Claus and elves his whole life, Buddy faces some modern difficulties while navigating his way around the unfamiliar Big Apple. 

“Elf,” starring Will Ferrel, is a comedic classic I find myself watching every time the holidays roll around. This film perfectly captures the charm of New York City around Christmas time. To non-New Yorkers, the experience comes across as magical, and although many of us HM students are used to the New York area during the holidays, it still delivers that sense of enchantment we crave when we put on festive movies. Additionally, Buddy’s obliviousness to the systems and unwritten rules that govern the city serves all audiences just the right amount of witty humor. Even though most of us do not believe in the mythic Santa Claus, this movie reminds viewers that faith in tradition drives our holiday spirit and cheer. At times, however, the screen time of other characters is sacrificed to maintain appearances of Buddy and the abundant humor tends to overshadow the main plot. 

Nonetheless, the relaxed storyline and focus on Buddy’s absurdity makes this film perfect for the holiday season— a time when you just want to snuggle on the couch while it’s snowing outside and watch a ridiculous, spirited movie. Although it’s baffling how thoroughly confused Buddy is by the city, it’s impossible for me to hate him; his confusion is what makes him so lovable and hilarious! Compared to characters like the Grinch or Charlie Brown, Buddy is my favorite by a long shot, although Kevin McAllister has my heart. I highly recommend watching “Elf” over the winter break—whether you are staying at home or traveling—and if it’s not already your top holiday film, it is a great one to add to your list!