I watched Elf for the first time and it was a gross uncomfortable watch

Get this orange tights man out of my Christmas

Let me start this off by saying how much I love Christmas films. Whether it’s the classics, the Hallmark ones with washed up film stars or the new Netflix ones, I’ve seen them all. The cringier, soppier and more ridiculous the better in my opinion. As a child I watched the Polar Express and Santa Clause movies back to back and now it isn’t Christmas if The Holiday and Love Actually aren’t on repeat. However there is one Christmas film I have never seen – Elf.

Yes the 2003 classic Will Ferrell movie that tops the best Christmas movie lists every year has escaped me for the last 24 years. It wasn’t part of my childhood and no friends have ever suggested watching it together, so it’s taken me nearly a quarter of a century to get around to watching it. But I thought after years of feeling out of the loop it was finally time for me to see what the hype was for. Last night I logged into my NOW seven day free trial and watched Elf. And I really wish I hadn’t wasted one precious free day on the monstrosity that is Elf.

I have never watched a worst Christmas film than Elf. How is this movie everyone’s favourite? I get it may be from your childhood and you’ve got rose tinted glasses of nostalgia on when you watch it every Christmas Eve. But even then I don’t think that’s an excuse. I never watched Home Alone until my late teens and I loved it just as much as I would have done if I’d first seen it age six. It’s a great movie whatever age you are – the same cannot be said for Elf.

If you are not burning with yuletide hatred for me already, then this is every reason why I could not stand to watch another minute of Elf:

So many moments made absolutely no sense

I’m all for a little bit of make believe in Christmas films, it’s part of the festive joy, however there were certain things I could not over look.

Firstly how on earth was baby Buddy meant to climb out of a crib and go into Santa’s sack? It’s literally impossible and when it’s the main reason Buddy ends up as an elf, aka the whole premise of the film, I’m gonna need something more believable than a few months old baby just climbed out of his crib.

Buddy’s entire journey to New York? How did he know where to go? Why did they send him in elf clothes? Did he have money? How long did the journey take him?

And when he’s in New York how did he stay in Gimbels over night without no one noticing? You’re telling me a massive department store in Manhattan has no security or CCTV cameras? Also why were there showers in the staff room? Idk about you but I’ve never worked at a company that gives free showers to their employees. Is this an American thing? I need to know.

When they go and get a DNA test with the millionaire from Friends, do DNA tests really work that quickly? Well I Googled it and no. They take at a minimum a few days but usually it’s weeks.

I felt violently ill watching some scenes

I have never been a fan of physical comedy. Never liked it, never will. And so this film was always going to be a tricky watch for me as so many of the gags relied on bodily functions or eating.

I appreciated some of the jokes which were clearly meant for adults, however the majority of them just made me feel queasy.

The scene where Buddy served spaghetti and maple syrup – vile. The time he did the longest burp in mankind – ew. The moment where he gets hit with the cab is the epitome of cheap jokes for laughs and I am not here for it. It’s boring, lazy and unoriginal.

The orange tights

Fashion taste aside, this is a children’s film and I could literally see Will Ferrell’s bulge. No matter my age I never want to see that.

Speaking of bad fashion, what on earth is going on with Michael’s woollen hat/cap? Cursed.

Certain moments were actually uncomfortable to watch

There were certain scenes in this movie I couldn’t get on board with even though I know they were meant to be funny.

When Buddy was called a “special” elf it left a very bad taste in my mouth as it clearly wasn’t meant as a compliment.

And then of course there’s the “angry elf” scene featuring Peter Dinklage as a famous writer, Miles Finch, who is repeatedly called an “elf” by Buddy. In the scene the other characters are visibly cringing at Buddy calling Miles an “elf” which means the writers were well aware it was something you should not be saying. However they still felt it was appropriate to make an entire scene around making a person with dwarfism look like the bad guy for rightfully calling out a slur he was repeatedly called.

The shower scene. I cannot. We know it’s wrong, even in 2003 when they made it, they should have known it was wrong. Given this is technically a children’s film it is complete tonal whiplash to have a scene involve a woman showering naked and a man basically spy on her. It was gratuitous nudity and they could still done the singing moment together in a very different set up.

The ending felt very rushed

Despite wanting the film to be over within the first 20 minutes of watching it, the ending still felt very rushed.

The emotional arc of Walter understanding he needed to be a better dad took place in less than five minutes. As soon as he had kicked Buddy out of his office, he was already on his way to saving him.

Whilst I appreciate him getting to this emotional realisation it would have been better if there was more anticipation because it felt like the whole ending came to a screeching halt. There wasn’t any time to even appreciate the father and son bonding, which small as it was would have been nice to see.

And then you blink and suddenly Buddy and Jovie have had a baby? Sorry what? It felt random, as if the writers were just trying to tidy up all the loose ends before they went on their lunch break.

I didn’t hate everything

I’m not a total Grinch so I will say there were certain parts of this film that warmed even my cold heart.

The whole “sleigh not being able to fly without Christmas spirit” thing was super cringe but very enjoyable and ended the movie nicely with all the singing in Central Park. Michael was a great character and for a Christmas movie kid, he was remarkably not annoying. I also appreciated Zooey Deschanel as a blonde.

The dancing in the workroom scene was fun and I thought it was very cool how chilled Emily, Walter’s wife, was about him having another child he knew nothing about.

But these few moments, sweet though they may have been, could not tempt me to rewatch the film. The writing is lazy, the sets looked cheap and watching Will Ferrell eat gum off the tube is enough to make me never click play on this again.

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