Mega Fan vs Giant Cynic: Elf

Quite possibly one of the most popular Christmas films of all time - Elf nonetheless divides opinions. James McCoull and Imogen Scott-Chambers decide whether the best way to spread Christmas cheer really is singing loud for all to hear - or if it’s watching Elf.

14th December 2015

Mega Fan - James McCoull

Christmas is in the air. The smell of spiced apples, the sound of Mariah Carey, and the sights of crass advertising schemes are truly everywhere. What better way to celebrate the best time of the year with the best Christmas film of all time?

And after you’ve watched Love Actually, you can watch Elf. A heartwarming and agelessly hilarious tale of a man searching for the truth of his confused identity in the cold and cruel city of New York, this is a favourite of both kids and adults alike, with good reason: Will Ferrell’s slapstick antics are far from cloying, combining perfect comedic timing with his own personal brand of over-the-top idiocy. And Zooey Deschanel’s in it too, so yeah.

Any argument made against this film falls flat against the fact that Peter Dinklage dropkicks a man, so I don’t really feel the need to say anything more than that.

Giant Cynic - Imogen Scott-Chambers

When it gets to the 1st of December, all I hear is “I can’t wait to watch Elf!” Elf-mania encroaches upon my life and I just want to hide away watching truly good Christmas films like It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard. Elf may well be branded as a warm, family comedy, but in reality it is just two hours of Will Ferrell overacting. Zooey Deschanel plays the exact same character we see her as in 500 Days of Summer (a much better film) and James Caan and Mary Steenburgen make extremely questionable choices to be a part of this substandard, overrated, bland film.

I am usually a big fan of director Jon Favreau’s work in both acting and directing spheres, but when it comes to a tale about a boy, raised as an elf at the North Pole, being sent to America to find his real dad and true identity whilst wreaking havoc constantly, I lose my faith in his abilities somewhat. All the hype is unwarranted, this film will not jingle your bells.

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