It is now officially that special time of year when people begin to realize that denying the facts is no longer an option; Christmas is just around the corner. The streets are adorned with festive lights, the stores are stocked with their best gift options, students are studying for exams, workers are counting down to the holidays, and cheerful movies are playing on TV like they’re going out of style. The holiday classics like Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Love Actually and a Christmas Carol always make me feel warm and fuzzy, each sending its viewers the message that Christmas is all about those you love. Even though some Holiday movies are made purely for some laughs and entertainment, they also seem to illustrate some pretty powerful messages…like, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Ok. Maybe not. But Elf, no matter how ridiculous, is a movie that will remain on my holiday favourites list for years to come. Will Ferrel in tights, conversing with Mr. Norwall and Arctic Puffin, uttering ludicrous lines like “I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins!”, make Elf one of the season’s greatest movies.
The movie tells the story of Buddy the Elf, a human raised by elves in the North Pole, who, as he grows older, begins to realize he may not belong to the elf community. Papa Elf, the elf who raised him, explains that Buddy’s real father is a business man in New York City, but his mother passed away and never told anyone about her child. Buddy decides to head to the big city to meet his dad, but not before Santa offers him some solid life lessons:
Santa: Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn’t free candy.
Santa: Second, there are, like, thirty Ray’s Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one’s on 11th. And if you see a sign that says “Peep Show”, that doesn’t mean that they’re letting you look at the new toys before Christmas.
After Buddy passes through the “seven levels of Candy Cane forest”, he makes his way to NYC and we watch as he interrogates Santa impersonators, learns to cross the street, meets his dad, gets his first job, and falls in love. Zooey Deschanel, one of my favourite actor/singers plays Jovie, a New Yorker who works as an elf in a department store. In one of the sweetest scenes of the movie, Buddy finds Jovie singing in the shower, and his favourite holiday lesson; “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”, doesn’t exactly work in his favor…
Here’s to a jolly holiday filled with laughs like those that Elf so effortlessly induces. Remember not to take things too seriously and to spread a little joy wherever you can. Happy Monday!