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The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

“Elf”: A holiday movie that will spread Christmas cheer for years to come

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Trusted Reviews
“Elf” is one of the most loved holiday movies out there. The movie ended up grossing just over six times its set budget.

Christmas is one of the most popular holidays in the world with around 93 percent of people in the US celebrating as of 2021. It is a season represented with movies, songs, and various activities including sledding, ice skating, and drinking warm hot cocoa by the fire. The vast accumulation of holiday movies over the past has prompted many opinions concerning the enjoyment of each movie. 

The PG rated film, “Elf”, has been a popular hit since it aired in 2003. Written by David Berenbaum and directed by Jon Favreau (who is most well known for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), “Elf” became a huge success bringing in 220 million dollars worldwide on a 33 million dollar budget. Having seen the movie multiple times in the past, I decided to put my view out into public, contradicting another hot pick for the number one spot of best holiday movie, “Home Alone”. 

After walking around Hudson High School with Charlotte Smethams, another journalism student and reporter, to gather opinions on the best holiday movies ranging from Halloween to Christmas, it was not a surprise to see “Elf ” and “Home Alone” in the top two. “Elf” received 17 of 48 votes while “Home Alone” was able to drag in 11. The students at the highschool threw out a grand total of 18 movies that they love watching during the autumn and early winter months, which further proves the diverse opinions at HHS. 

My opinion, however, on the movie “Elf”, is set in stone. From the first time I saw the movie, to the tens of times after, often in the same month, I found it to be hilarious, entertaining, and a perfect representation of the classic Christmas spirit. To break it down, we first must look into the movie as a whole.

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Throughout the movie, Buddy, a human that was mistakenly brought to the North Pole and put to work as an elf, tries to find a way to fit in, as he is very different from the other elves. He journeys to the big city of New York in search of his father, Walter Hobbs. As the movie plugs along, Buddy makes new friends with chaos constantly ensuing him.

This iconic Christmas figure is played by Will Ferrell, a hilarious pick for the role. According to rottentomatoes.com, “Elf” is Ferrell’s second most liked movie. As a perfect contrast to Buddy’s undying cheer, Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s biological father, is played by James Caan. The chemistry seen on-screen by these two phenomenal actors is beautiful. Ferrell and Caan show perfect dissimilarity and the slow burn of Buddy’s acceptance into his father’s life. “Elf” also stars Zooey Deschanel as Buddy’s newfound love interest, Jovie, Mary Steenburgen as his adoptive and accepting mother, Emily, as well as Daniel Tay playing Buddy’s stepbrother, Michael.

From the beginning of the movie, I was intrigued. We start off with a beautiful introduction of Buddy and his early years by his adoptive elf father, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart). The portrayal of Santa’s workshop is enough to charm anyone into an eternal Christmas until, sadly, Buddy comes to the realization that he is, in fact, not a real elf. The animated Leon the Snowman, reminiscent of Sam the Snowman from the Christmas time classic, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, brings a hint of nostalgia into the movie as Buddy departs to New York City to connect with his father. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Buddy’s first glimpse into city life. Because of the small budget for the movie, many of the scenes are filmed in the public streets of New York, leaving many unscripted details that fully portrayed Ferrell’s excellence in improvising and adding his own twist on things. One of these scenes that I found amusing was when Buddy finds a man in a red tracksuit and a white beard crossing the street. Buddy mistakes him for Santa in disguise. The best part of the scene is that it was all luck. The man crossing the street was not a background actor and just happened to be there already in perfect attire. All Ferrell had to do was go up to him with the camera on his tail. 

As the movie carries on, the acting performances continue to amaze me. Buddy ends up getting sucked into work at the Gimbels department store where he meets a girl named Jovie, also dressed up as an elf for the North Pole-themed workplace. Their relationship blossoms from there with Buddy’s stepbrother, Michael, helping him along the way. Unfortunately, with Christmas coming up, Santa must get his sleigh working. The dreadful downside is that it runs on Christmas cheer, which has been recently declining due to the disbelief in Santa. In another one of my favorite parts of the movie, Jovie is able to rally hundreds of people in New York to sing Christmas carols. As Buddy says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”  In the end, Santa is able to get his sleigh in the air and give out presents to all. 

After enjoying this movie from beginning to end I am going to give it four stars. It was comical, and charming, while still remaining different and not as cheesy as other holiday motion pictures. I highly recommend the film and, personally, prefer it to the other top finisher, “Home Alone”.

 

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About the Contributor
Molly McInerney, Reporter
Molly is a freshman at Hudson High School. This is her first year writing for The Explorer. Molly enjoys reading, writing, running and listening to musicians like The Lumineers or Rex Orange County in her free time. She also loves finding time to hangout with friends and family through hiking and exploring the outdoors. Molly participates in a variety of different clubs including Outdoor Society, Z-Club and Fashion Club, as well as running on the Girls cross country and track team. She is looking forward to writing about many different topics from criticizing and praising books, to spreading awareness about the natural crisis.
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