Evan Schwartz’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #9 of Hellbound: December Movie Challenge 2
It's been a while since I've seen Elf, and my art house theater (the same that showed Ferris Bueller's Day Off) was doing a free screening. Ignoring the screaming babies and the kids kicking my seat behind me, Elf is still a great movie. It's flawed for sure, like how the pacing is pretty off, but it's so fun and so hilarious that it's hard not to love. Will Ferrel steals the show, and while I don't usually love him, he's spectacular as a disheveled elf in the city. There are some moments that I remember laughing at in the theater in 2003 that I continue to laugh at today, and I picked up on some jokes that a 7 year old doesn't typically understand. The rest of the performances are really good too. I forgot Zooey Deschanel was in it so it was cool to see her in such an early role.
Again, Elf is flawed, but it doesn't take away from the fun of the film. It doesn't spend an enormous amount of time on its inevitable Christmas message either. The film focuses on the comedy, not the sappy heartwarming family moments. That's what I want in a Christmas movie, if I'm even watching one in the first place. It's a classic and this is definitely not the last time I'll be watching it.