Director: Jon Favreau
Year Released: 2003
The first hour is innocuous fun as Will Ferrell is given free reign to let his infantile sprite character spin around New York City only for the movie to turn into a slushy let-down for the last half-hour with its not-so-clever inclusion of a vertically-challenged diva writer and some 'Dad you don't care about me' dealings with a less grouchy and more world-weary James Caan. Zooey Deschanel reprises her role in The Good Girl as a jaded department store clerk - gotta watch that type casting - and the romantic subplot with her and Ferrell, as trifling as it is, doesn't belong in the movie - the two of them kissing at the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink rings false, considering Ferrell's apparent lack of a sexual identity (his hysterical - almost psychotic - wonderment with, well, everything is also very un-elf-like - that is, when compared to the other elves that work at the North Pole, who are a subdued but deterministic bunch). The bits with the stop-motion snowman and penguins are inspired - so is the casting of Bob Newhart.