Dec 7, 2012

Overrated films part 33

I know a lot of films on my Overrated list are those that are beloved by many, and granted all of them have at least a few redeeming qualities at best, and I can understand their massive appeal, even though I personally have no interest in seeing most, if not all, ever again. Pop art has almost a limitless budget to convince the masses that what they're viewing or listening to is good, whether it is or not.
There are a few Holiday staples that have stood the test of time and have become classics many families have come to enjoy, such as the crowd pleasing It's a Wonderful Life, the hilarious antics in A Christmas Story, Scrooged, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, the morality tales of the various versions of A Christmas Carol, and the charming sweetness of the original Miracle on 34th Street. One film that seems to be a now must watch Holiday movie is Elf, one I really don't care for.
Elf is the story of William, who as a baby sneaks into Santa's sack of toys, and ends up being adopted by Father Christmas and his wife. Raised as Kris Kringle's helper, William grows up, towering over all the others, and is finally told the story of how he came to be a part of the North Pole workforce, and then goes to find his birth family. He travels to New York and comes across his father, who works for a book publisher and isn't happy to meet his long lost son, for whatever reason.
William then traverses the metropolitan landscape, trying to understand the commercialized world we inhabit, falls in love, and does anything and everything to be accepted by his long lost Dad. It's mostly a fish out of water story, which you've seen dozens of times, and Will Ferrell is mostly acting like a man child, which is quite a stretch for him I know. The humor can give someone a smile, but with the exception of the short person author scene, it's mostly only funny once, and repeated viewings don't hold up. The climax is as stupid as it is predictable, and the movie just has an uneven feel for me. While the film does have its merits, some good light hearted humor, and a charming performance by the lovely hipster queen Zooey Deschanell, it's a silly film that I find largely forgettable. It has captured the imaginations of many, but we'll see if it stands the test of time as the previously mentioned Christmas classics have.
"Amorphous and ill-formed, relying solely on the strength of the gags to win the day." - Rob Faux


Claire said...

I quite like Elf - maybe because I get to watch it with eight-year olds each festive season? But it's nowhere near the sheer awesomeness of the Muppet Christmas Carol!

Miss Ash said...

I LOVE National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, one of my favorites!! I've seen Elf once or twice and found it funny enough but nothing beats Chevy Chase!