Elf is one of the most popular Christmas movies that’s been released in the past 20 years. In fact, it’s one of the most popular Christmas movies ever and is definitely considered a modern Christmas classic. There are many people who consider Elf the best Christmas movie ever and their overall favorite. However, other people feel that Elf is overrated. This movie definitely has some iconic holiday moments that make it the best, but it also has some flaws.
Here are the five reasons why Elf is the best Christmas movie and five why it’s rather disappointing.
10 BEST: IT’S FULL OF GREAT QUOTES
One of the things that makes Elf such a great film is that it’s really easy to quote. There are so many lines from the movie that are popular with fans, and these quotes are often used on the internet. Some popular lines include, “cotton-headed ninny muggins” and “you sit on a throne of lies.” There are a lot of great jokes and heartwarming moments in the film that are easy to quote and remember. So, if you love a movie that sticks with you after you watch it, Elf is definitely great.
9 DISAPPOINTED: PETER DINKLAGE’S ROLE IS FULL OF STEREOTYPES
One of the most disappointing aspects of the film is the role given to Peter Dinklage. In the movie, he plays Miles Finch, a best-selling children’s book author. However, the character is just there for Buddy to make jokes about being an elf to.
However, given that Peter Dinklage is a person who has dwarfism, these jokes seem really stereotypically and not that funny. This scene is definitely really cringey and not very funny. This is definitely one of the least positive moments in the film.
8 BEST: IT FOCUSES ON LOTS OF HOLIDAY THEMES
When Ti comes to Christmas movies, it’s clear that they are often a bit cheesy. However, the focus on themes such as family, friendship, and holiday magic are often expected from these kinds of films. Elf does a great job of focusing on many typical holiday themes but doing so in a fresh and heartwarming way. The movie is about Buddy learning more about family and finding love and acceptance, and these are the themes that are rather timeless when it comes to holiday films.
7 DISAPPOINTED: SANTA CLAUS ISN’T VERY JOLLY
One thing about many Christmas movies that doesn't make a lot of sense is how often Santa isn’t that kind of happy of a character. While Santa as a figure is supposed to be extremely loving, giving, and jolly, in many movies he’s kind of a curmudgeon. In Elf, this is definitely the case.
Santa is rather withdrawn and not that warm. He definitely isn’t someone you would want to bring presents into your home because he just seems like a bit of a grumpy old man. It would have been nice to have a Santa Claus who seems more positive.
6 BEST: BUDDY CAPTURES THE CHILDLIKE JOY OF CHRISTMAS
Buddy is a human, but he was raised in the North Pole as an elf. Because of this, he’s rather naive about the ways of the real world and often comes off as rather childlike. While at times this can go a bit too far, overall, his innocence captures the magic and joy of Christmas. Buddy represents the kid inside all of us that gets really excited about things like snowball fights, candy, and presents, and there’s something really endearing about this.
5 DISAPPOINTED: THE CENTRAL PARK RANGERS STORYLINE IS RIDICULOUS
While the start of the movie is really enjoyable, the central conflict is rather tedious and somewhat ridiculous. One of the weirdest and least believable things about the film is when Santa tells Buddy about Central Park Rangers after his sleigh crashes in the park. This entire idea is completely laughable and not engaging at all.
The idea that Central Park is full of scary police officers on horses who are out to get Santa is just silly, and it really makes the movie starts to go downhill.
4 BEST: THE NEW YORK CITY SETTING IS PERFECT
While there are Christmas movies set in many places, New York City is one of the most popular settings. There’s just something about the bustle of the city when its snowing and iconic places such as Rockefeller Center that make NYC great for Christmas movies. Elf features many of the most memorable and loved holiday places in the city, and this creates the perfect atmosphere for the film.
3 DISAPPOINTED: BUDDY’S NAIVETY GOES TOO FAR SOMETIMES
As mentioned earlier in this list, Buddy’s innocence and childlike wonder is often one of the best things about the movie, but there are times when it's just too much. While it makes sense he’d be naive, he would be aware of basic things such as not trying to see someone in the shower. The scene where he doesn’t understand why Jovie is worried about the fact Buddy seems to be trying to see her naked is ridiculous. Even children are taught to respect other people’s privacy. This is just one example of when Buddy’s naivety is just too much and rather jarring.
2 BEST: IT’S ALSO PART ROMANTIC COMEDY
While many Christmas movies are only focused on family, one of the things that makes Elf a compelling watch is that it’s also a bit of a romantic comedy. While the movie is about family and the Christmas spirit, it’s also about Buddy and Jovie as they fall for each other. They are a sweet couple, and this relationship just adds another endearing letter to the movie.
1 DISAPPOINTED: THE LAST THIRD OF THE MOVIE JUST ISN’T THAT GOOD
While there are many wonderful moments from Elf and many great characters, the biggest problem with the movie is that it’s not very good in the last thirty minutes or so. The storyline of the sleigh running out of Christmas spirit and belief in Santa seems like a tonal shift from the rest of the movie, and, overall, the end of the film is just kind of boring.