November 20, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 46  

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Will Ferrell: A giant Elf in yellow tights

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff


Starring: Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, James Caan
Directed by: Jon Favreau

Gazette File Photo
MIDGETS AND GIANTS TOGETHER AT LAST! Will Ferrell and Bob Newhart, stars of the Christmas comedy Elf, reveal that it is possible for people of varying statures to find common ground.

With Christmas time upon us again, a host of holiday-related movies have hit theatres — and nothing can beat Will Ferrell in yellow tights.

True, Elf is a holiday movie for the kids, but Ferrell is quite funny playing Buddy the Elf, a human raised as an elf in the North Pole under the wing of Papa Elf, an equally funny Newhart. When he comes to the realization his real father lives in New York City, Buddy, elf suit and all, makes his way down to the Big Apple to meet his dad (Caan).

Without doubt or disappointment, hilarity ensues. Buddy attempts to fit in at his new home, but clearly it’s not an easy task to integrate an elf into human society. Caan’s portrayal of the grouchy father is typical of holiday flicks, but funny nonetheless.

In his green hat and yellow tights, Ferrell engages in all sorts of activities in the big city; from chewing gum off the street to a crazy snow ball fight with bullies. He carries the movie from start to finish, fully embracing his role as an elf; Ferrell’s comedic genius and superb timing is what makes this movie laugh-out-loud funny and — gasp — Buddy even meets a girl!

The film’s construction of the North Pole is showcased as a juxtaposition of human characters, cartoon penguins and the Frosty the Snowman of television fame — a visually interesting and hilarious way to present Santa’s homeland.

As Papa Elf, Newhart’s low-key personality is contrasted with the high-energy, brightly dressed elves in the workshop, making his role all the more interesting. Further, Ferrell’s stature in comparison to Newhart’s (which is made even more obvious) is played up in a way that effectively emphasizes their on-screen personalities.

Despite the cheesy morals and overdone emphasis on holiday cheer — which seems almost mandatory in holiday films — this quirky Christmas movie is one of the best that has been released in a while. In post-Shrek tradition, Elf is a great movie for kids of all ages.

Future Ferrell Films:

Starksy & Hutch (2004)

Anchorman (2004)

Untitled Woody Allen Fall Project (2004)

The Wendell Baker Story (2004)

Winter Passing (2004)

Curious George (2005)

A Confederacy of Dunces (2004)

Bewitched (2005)

Untitled Will Ferrell Soccer Comedy (2005)

Past Productions

Old School (2003)
Boat Trip (2002)
Zoolander (2001)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
The Ladies Man (2000)
Drowning Mona (2000)
Superstar (1999)
Dick (1999)
Austin Powers:
The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
The Suburbans (1999)
The Thin Pink Line (1998)
A Night at the Roxbury (1998)
Austin Powers:
International Man of Mystery (1997)
Men Seeking Women (1997)
Criminal Hearts (1995)



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