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Elf (DVD) Review

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By Britt Gillette

This Christmas, discover your inner elf… At least, that's the tagline for Elf, one of the funniest films of 2003. Packed with a cast of Hollywood all-star talent, Elf is guaranteed to make you laugh. The touching story about an adopted elf who discovers he's really a boy is sort of a bizzaro-Pinocchio story that opened to such widespread critical acclaim that it unanimously swept zero Oscars at the 2004 Academy Awards ceremony! Nevertheless, Elf is worth the price of admission. Although Christmas Vacation still holds the title as the top Christmas comedy, Elf is still a great night's entertainment…

Buddy (Will Ferrell) is an oversized elf working away at the North Pole. Always wearing a smile, he dwarfs his comrades and never seems able to find his niche in the toy-making arena. Eventually, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) is forced to reveal the truth to Buddy. He's actually a human. He's not really an elf at all. The elves love buddy just the same, but Buddy feels the need to strike out on his own and try to find himself - and maybe even his family too…

Scouring the streets of New York City, Buddy must learn the urban rules of life. In due time, he manages to track down his biological father, a successful publishing executive named Walter (James Caan). But despite the prodding of his wife Emily (Mary Steenburgen), Walter is reluctant to start a relationship with the over-eager grown-up child…

In the meantime, Buddy spends his days working at Gimbel's department store where he stars as a department store Santa's elf and a Christmas season decorator, creating a magical wonderland that thrills customers and employees alike. Striking up a relationship with fellow employee Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), Buddy's life is slowly transitioning from elf to human… But will he be able to survive in the big city? Will he be able to rekindle a relationship with his father? Elf thoroughly entertains us while we find out…

With a great cast of writers, Elf manages to keep the laughs rolling throughout the entirety of the film. Although lacking in some areas (it's not one of the greatest comedies of all-time), Elf is a hilarious movie in its own right. Will Ferrell turns in an amazing performance as Buddy. Like Tom Hanks in Big, he's actually believable as the innocent man-child roaming the streets of New York City. It's this farcical innocence that provides Elf with the charm necessary to keep the audience involved in the story beginning to end. Because of its laugh factor, and the surprisingly small number of decent Christmas-themed movies, Elf is a definite must-see film… Check it out this Christmas!

About The Author: Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report (thedvdreport.blogspot.com), a blog where you can find more reviews like this one.