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Iím breaking out the holiday reviews early this year! Elf (directed by Jon Favreau) is a lighthearted Christmas comedy that will suit the entire family. It should be on anyoneís list of Christmas movies to watch.

Buddy (Will Ferrell) is an elf that lives in the North Pole and makes toys for Santa. Thereís one slight problem, though. He isnít small like the other elves or nearly as skilled at assembling toys. His father, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), admits to Buddy that he was adopted and that his real father lives in New York City. Buddy sets off to find his birth father (played by James Caan) and discovers much more along the way including a stepmother (Mary Steenburgen), half-brother (Daniel Tay), possible crush (Zooey Deschanel) and the true meaning of Christmas.

Ferrell plays a child well. Buddy has no idea how to act around people that arenít constructing toys for Santa. He embodies the joys of Christmas time and displays Buddyís innocence of the world around him well. In my opinion this is one of Ferrellís best movies. Itís impossible not to smile during a scene he is in.

Deschanel meshes with Ferell nicely and the two have great chemistry. Her lovely, jazzy voice reminiscent of the 40s also adds a pleasant touch. When she is singing Christmas songs in the shower and at the end of the movie, itís simply magical. Ferrellís voice isnít to bad either.

The movie presents a good message that both children and adults can appreciate. Believing in Santa requires a leap of faith and we are reminded why it is so easy for children to take that leap. Elf warns us not to lose our imaginations as we grow older and that family and friends are the most important things in the world. Buddyís real father, Walter, finally manages to grasp this idea at the end of the film and Iím happy that he does.

The dialogue, jokes and themes are executed well by the director. Ferrellís innocence never gets tiresome and his reactions to life in New York City are hilarious. His views on life are a breath of fresh air and makes me wish I could see the world through his eyes.

Elf is a movie that you can watch during anytime of the year. Itís incredibly sweet and the entire cast is fantastic in their acting roles. The message of holiday cheer shines through in this film and generates laughs at the same time.

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