One more week my friends, one…more…week.
In 2003, Will Ferrell released one of the best Christmas movies ever. I know it hasn’t been that long to truly know, but there is no doubt in my soul that I’m going to force feed this movie down my great grandkids throats. There’s nothing more refreshing than an original movie that can make all generations laugh and care about the characters. And when that movie is directed by Jon Favreau, casted with the faces of Bob Newhart, Ed Asner (by far the best Santa I’ve ever seen on screen), Mary Steenburgen, James Caan, and the heart breakingly beautiful Zooey Deschanel, AND highlighting the essence and ingredients of a great Christmas…you know that movie will be collecting dust on your shelf all year long for the rest of your life until every December when you pop it in and laugh your ass off. Oh? Did I forget something? Nope, because I’m going to spill the Christmas beans right now! Will Ferrell stars in Elf as Buddy, a 30 year old man once adopted by Santa’s Elves who harbors unconditional love and endless Christmas spirit and is ready to share it when he leaves the North Pole looking for his biological father in NYC. It is a brilliant story on paper and what makes it come to life is Will Ferrell’s ability to completely and blindly devote himself to any character giving them an eager voice and an excited smile.
Seriously, I love Will Ferrell. If you watched him during his SNL career you might notice he didn’t always play the most hilarious characters or deliver the most witty lines. But what made him funny and extremely memorable was his incredible commitment to every character and every line. To me, that’s where Will Ferrell’s talent really lies. And luckily Jon Favreau paired this lovable galoot (love that word) with another extremely talented face. Can you guess where I’m going with this? You’re right! But first let me set the scene. And believe me, this is not just any scene. This is one of those scenes that your heart beats for and your zealous mind craves to see. Although extremely simple, there is no denying the magic in it. Through the empty halls Buddy hears a hauntingly beautiful voice singing a lonely half of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. His slow walk of exploration and attraction down the hall brings in the slow fade of the face paired with the voice. Zooey Deschanel’s character, Jovie, washes her effortless blonde hair while heating the locker room with shower steam and her warming Christmas melody. Buddy sits innocently out of eye-line and begins to fill in the missing half of her loving tune. A slow simple piano builds in the background supporting their moment until they reach the final line of the verse and Buddy breaks the magic by adolescently singing loud enough for her to hear. End the scene with a little physical humor and you have yourself an “Aww…..HAHA!” scene.
Now, at this point I could start talking (and go on forever) about how Zooey is so gorgeous that I would shoot my own brother (with a Nerf gun) and watch him bleed to death (with cherry Kool-Aid) just to sit down in a romantic dinner setting and get to know her personally. But, sadly, I don’t want to read about how I am the world’s largest hopeless romantic because I’d probably point and make fun of myself without realizing I wrote those words. Or I could start talking about how spectacularly this movie was visioned in Jon Favreau’s head and how as a comedic actor and person in general he was able to highlight the “fun” of Christmas classic movies for the entire family. But I’d probably geek out so much I’d have to shower in nutmeg just to calm myself down. So let’s focus just on Christmas. It’s one week away and there’s no better time than the present to throw a tacky sweater party with your closest friends and sit down to some (spiked) eggnog and a little Elf.