August 13, 2005 - Will Ferrell stars in this 2003 holiday comedy directed by Jon Favreau.

Ferrell plays Buddy, an orphan who, as a baby, crawls into Santa's bag one Christmas Eve. Without realizing it, Santa (Ed Asner) whisks Buddy back to the North Pole. When Buddy crawls out of the bag, the elves decide to raise him as one of their own. Bob Newhart plays Buddy's adoptive Elf father.

Even though Buddy is raised as an Elf, it's clear that he's not really one of them. For one thing, he's much too big. So, Papa Elf tells Buddy the truth and Buddy sets off to find his real father in New York City. In an inspired casting move, that character is played by James Caan. Mary Steenburgen is his wife.

The rest of the movie involves Buddy spreading his unique brand of Elfen holiday cheer to help save Christmas for humankind.

Overall Review: ** The first half of this movie is really funny as Buddy grows up, gets his first taste of life in New York City and falls in love. The second half, not so funny as Buddy and Santa try to outrun a group of menacing police on horseback in Central Park. Of course, the movie has a happy ending but, by that time, I was just happy that it ended.