Guys, I’m back! I’m sorry it’s been so long without an open letter but ya know, peeps get sick and stuff happens. APOLOGIES. Anyway, it’s finally that time of year, guys. The time of year we’ve all been waiting for. It’s CHRISTMAS MOVIE time! This is truly my favorite time of year and I know I am not alone. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or maybe you don’t celebrate anything, I think we can (maybe) all agree that some of the best movies not only come out on Christmas day, but also happen to be holiday or Christmas themed. The holidays always make me super nostalgic and happy and I wait all year for holiday movies to start playing in theaters and on TV. I’ve watched most of the classics since I was a kid, but my open letter this week is to my personal relatively new favorite holiday movie, ELF!
First off, do you really know Santa? He’s a pretty exclusive guy from what I’ve heard so, props for landing yourself permanently on the NICE list! Elf, you are one of my all time favorite holiday films. You make me feel so happy and yet, also weirdly like I want to eat an entire bowl of spaghetti covered in syrup and candy. Is that weird? Probs not, I’m sure it’s standard for all Elf lovers. First off, you have Will Ferrell (aka comedic genius) who pretty much carries the entire film. Then, you added in silver fox and The Godfather alum James Caan who no one would expect to be in a movie about an adorable man-boy Elf. Leave it to you Elf to keep everyone on their toes (whilst laughing hysterically)! Ugh, you make me so happy. You’re a story that we hadn’t seen before and honestly, how often are live action, specifically holiday themed films made these days? It’s definitely a big gamble that movie studios don’t often take because what happens if it bombs? No one will watch it at all; not during the holidays, not immediately following the holidays, not EVER. Luckily Elf, you didn’t bomb and I’ll admit that I’ve been caught watching you in June … and maybe even July … and August. WHAT? It’s totally not weird. You are just that good!
One of my favorite parts of you Elf is when Buddy sings in the bathroom while Jovie is in the shower. Before anyone says anything dumb, I do not find it disgusting or creepy. Buddy heard her beautiful singing and simply wanted to sing along. I also like to think that he maybe didn’t completely realize that she was in fact showering because he was too enchanted by her voice (and who wasn’t AMIRIGHT??). Now that I think about it, you totally introduced me to Zooey Deschanel, Elf. I was mildly aware of her at that point, seeing her play small parts in The Good Girl, The New Guy, and Almost Famous but I officially became a fan of hers after seeing Elf. I was however completely unaware of her incredible vocal talent which was a wonderful surprise in Elf. That Zooey is not only adorable and quirky but also has got some awesome pipes! I also love that Zooey plays this super jaded Christmas Grinch in Elf. It’s a side of Zooey that we aren’t accustomed to seeing, especially now with her quirky typecasting, and I love it.
Elf, you have become a Christmas standard for me and one of my ultimate favorite holiday movies. You’ve really set the standard for modern Christmas movies in the last decade. I think it’s safe to say that the 80s and 90s produced some pretty amazing Christmas movies (i.e. Christmas Vacation, Die Hard, Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, etc.), but your 2003 debut reminded the movie universe that you CAN make a modern Christmas movie and it CAN be good! Thank you for that because without you I wouldn’t have any justification for SINGING LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR (or eating an entire roll of Tollhouse cookie dough in one sitting …).
Elf, you’ll be around for years to come so keep inspiring people to believe in Santa (you know him, remember?) and reminding us that the holidays are a time to spend with the people that we love the most.
Your pal (who may or may not be on the naughty list …)
Fraisia W. Logan