elf movie posterNew Line Cinema
2003
PG

“I’m sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR.”

Once upon a Christmas Eve, an orphan baby crawled into Santa’s bag of gifts and was taken to the North Pole. Raised by Papa Elf, Buddy comes to realize he doesn’t fit in with the other elves. Determined to find a place where he belongs, Buddy searches for his real dad–in New York City! In the Big Apple, Buddy finds out why his dad is on the naughty list! But almost importantly, he sees that the world is seriously lacking in Christmas spirit, which causes Santa all kinds of problems! So with the help of a beautiful department store elf, Buddy tries to teach his dad and the world the true meaning of Christmas spirit and to prove to everyone that Santa really exists!

Elf is one of those movies that you would think I would not like all that much at the very least. First off, it’s a Christmas movie, and if there’s one type of Holiday-themed movie I dislike the most, it’s the Christmas movie. They’re more formulaic than the zombie movie, with their saccharine bombardment of warm fuzzy feelings being crammed down your throat, usually with the aide of cute adorable whatnots and an ending that lulls you into a false sense of optimistic security…

Okay, sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t let my inner curmudgeon run rampant. He smells manufactured Holiday Cheer(TM), and that’s like a shark smelling blood in the water. Anyway…

Once in a while, though, a Christmas movie comes along that, despite being as formulaic as they come and stars a comedian actor that I’m more or less “meh” about, somehow works together to make me enjoy it. Normally, this kind of emotional manipulation to make me feel things that are foreign to my cold, unfeeling blackened heart makes me want to do violence to the nearest Christmas carollers to happen upon the dwelling place of the METAL DEMIGOD, and decorate my trees with their entrails in the spirit of the Yuletide season. But this…this is an anomaly.

Somehow, the story of a human that was raised by Santa’s elves after a bit of a mix-up during his usual deliveries, coming of the age of realization that he is, in fact, not an elf but a human, and goes off in search of his true lineage in the magical land of New York, with wackiness ensuing, makes me do something my human friends refer to as “smiling”, which makes my face hurt. A kind of a…I cannot describe it outside of a “warmth” of some sort that, while initially triggering my blind rage, smoothed over to tingly enjoyment that itched more than I’m comfortable with. Truly, after watching this, it fills me with the urge to embrace the humans that I pass by, not in a crushing death blow, but in what I’ve come to understand is called a “hug”, and is considered more socially acceptable than life-crushing death embraces.

This, as you may have imagined, does not sit well with the METAL DEMIGOD. This is why I cannot watch Elf more than just once a year, around this season you refer to as “Christmas”. It fills me with warm fuzzies, something I only allow to infest my being but once a year. You too may find yourself enjoying Elf. And if you haven’t seen it, might I invite you to do so. Soon.

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