If I’m to be completely honest, my dorm has been decorated for Christmas since the beginning of November, and my Spotify playlist of all the seasonal essentials has been crafted and intermittently playing since September.
So, to say that I’m just a little obsessed with the holiday season is quite the understatement.
While it’s now December, many might say it’s still just a little bit early to be talking about Christmas movies. And to you I say stop being a Grinch, make some hot chocolate and put on your Santa cap. We’re about to talk about the greatest Christmas movie of all time: Elf.
Before diving into such a bold statement, it’s important to note that every single movie about Christmas holds some place in my heart. I recognize every person has a movie that defines their childhood during the holidays: the one that always brings a smile to your face and is always on in the background during the month of December. I’d argue the new ones that come out on Freeform every year are debatable, but you know, to each their own.
That said, Elf takes them all down for me. It sees the likes of The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas or even A Charlie Brown Christmas, and it leaps over them all to take that first place, candy-cane shaped trophy.
Christmas movies need to have three things to be amazing.
First, they need to meet the holiday cheer quota, like having enough music, enough tinsel and enough heart — without going overboard into cringy clichés — to really amp up anyone watching for Christmas (even those tough old Scrooges).
Second, they need to have a level of quotability. Funny lines, iconic characters and ageless songs will be remembered and passed down through the generations, even as the film grows older and older.
Finally, there needs to be a “wow” factor: something to make the film stand out from all the others and really rise to classic status.
Elf has all three of these.
First off, the film very obviously meets the holiday cheer quota. The soundtrack includes classics like “Sleigh Ride,” Buddy the Elf literally makes every location in the film into a winter wonderland and the plot is one of the best I’ve ever seen in a Christmas movie.
It finds that perfect balance of amazing humor, the kind that will drag belly laughs out of you, plus a solid, heartfelt message. Buddy is the heart of the movie.
Some of the plot lines may be argued to be a little clichéd by some because they are told through such an amazing character. But it all just brings a smile to your face — even Buddy sitting in a doctor’s office eating cotton balls.
Buddy brings with him his love for the holiday season, and much like in real life, that joy very easily transfers to the other characters in the film and to the viewers watching at home. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
That brings me to my next point: the quotability of the film. Whether you’re being informed that you smell like beef and cheese, hearing people thanking Mr. Narwhal or watching as people scream “Santa!” at poor unsuspecting mall Santas, the month of December brings countless references to Elf. The humor, story and dialogue in the film are top notch, granting the film classic status.
And perhaps the aspect most remembered about the film is Buddy the Elf, the wow factor of the film. Credit for that goes to Will Ferrell.
Ferrell has always been one of my favorite actors due to his comedic ability and commitment to his roles. That commitment is seen most in Elf, in which he fully embraces the identity of Buddy. Ferrell actually comes off as someone who was raised in the North Pole. His actions and words are always believable, and his endless optimism and naivety are sure to make your heart full. He truly is the star of the film.
So while I’m almost always found watching holiday movies of all sorts, Elf meets all of my expectations and exceeds them with even more cheer. It’s one of those films I can watch on repeat ever since I begin my countdown to Christmas in mid-November.
Maybe you don’t have to be as obsessed with this movie, or the season itself, as I am. But I urge everyone to fit this classic in at least once before jolly old Saint Nick makes his way down the chimney.
Jackson Horvat is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.