Joyful holiday fun

Finally, a vehicle that works for Will Ferrell. I mean, the guy seems talented, but almost every movie I've seen him in, he is so out of whack with the other characters it takes me out of the experience. Here, this actually works.

Ferrell is Buddy, a Human, raised as an Elf, gone off into the world to find his real-life father, Ferrell has plenty of reason to be out of whack with everyone. The plot itself is little more than a fish-out-of-water story, but a fairly well executed one. Buddy finds a love interest (the incomparable Zooey Deschanel), and his father (James Caan) would be struggling with the work versus family issues of being a hard-nosed career man (in children's publishing, no less) - except he gave himself over to work a long time ago.

No, there's nothing too surprising in this film, but it is delivered in such a joyful, earnest way that, as an audience, it's easy to surrender to.

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