( [email protected] ) Nov 11, 2003 11:11 AM EST

Every Christmas, there is always an attempt by movie directors to bring the magical joy of Santa, his reindeer, and holiday family togetherness into a family comedy that messages the hope and also family values of love and forgiveness. This year director Jon Favreau takes moviegoers on an adventure to the Big Apple through the eyes of Buddy (Will Ferrell). After accidentally crawling into Santa’s bag, Buddy is taken along by Santa to the North Pole where Santa’s most trusted helper adopts and raises Buddy. Buddy grows up thinking he is an elf even though there are obvious dissimilarities such as his being three times bigger than all the other elves. The comical outburst truly begins after Buddy discovers his real father, who is on Santa’s naughty list, is in New York. Though in the movie, his real father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), blatantly rejects and denies Buddy when they first meet, the plot warms up as Buddy is able to find his place in a new home.

The humor in the film is centered on Buddy’s naïveté and pure childish innocence as he experiences the reality of New York. For those who don’t like ridiculous humor, they may not find Buddy entertaining but more so annoying and obnoxious from his repeated misunderstandings of the situation. For those who are more familiar with actor Ferrell’s work on Saturday Night Live will find this film hilarious and impressive to see Ferrell take on different frontiers in character acting.

The only gliche in the film is the sprinkled-on rude language and brief scenes of partial nudity is when Buddy’s love interest Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) is seen in the shower, shoulder up. There is also a scene where Buddy gets unknowingly drunk. There is also a scene in which the cheesy message about the meaning of Christmas kind of drags down the light-hearted tone of the movie but hey, what’s a Christmas movie without a good traditional reminder of family values.

I think this movie is entertaining and enjoyable for both adults and children. It’s a film you can watch this holiday that will warm up your heart and your funny bone.

Official movie site: www.elfmovie.com