Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003)
The story is about one of Santa's elves who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father, spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics as he goes.
Continuing on the contemporary resentment of most adults about Christmas initiated by A Charlie Brown Christmas and earlier in the 1950’s by humorists, Elf starring Will Ferrell as Buddy one of Santa’s elves that is in fact a human goes to New York City to meet his biological father (James Caan). In New York he is mistaken for an employee of Gimbels and starts working there. He meets the pretty Jovie (Zooey Deschanel, who also sings her own songs). With the help of a few friends and many comedic moments Buddy will bring back the spirit of Christmas to the citizens of NYC.
I remember seeing this in theaters ten years ago and telling myself this is how you make a contemporary Christmas classic. You involve a Saturday Night Live maverick, Will Ferrell, and let him havoc in a costume that is grotesque and mix a bit of cynicism of the contemporary world and make it a family entertainment for the ages.
When looking for Christmas films we don’t need to find film canons and life changing entertainment. This is the right film for you if you nodded along my previous sentence and you want some gentle comedy and not create a situation like if you showed Bad Santa for your kids for example. Elf is in fact very general public and sometimes at Noël we like this kind of naive movies.