What's happened to Christmas movies? Gone are the days of Ralphie Parker's bunny suit and Kevin McCallister's aftershave. Perhaps it began when someone decided it was a good idea to cast Tim Allen as Santa Claus three times, each turn decidedly more ridiculous than the one before. Now that Vince Vaughn has taken the subpar-Christmas-movie reins with his snarky ramblings and Scroogey one-liners, it could appear that entertaining, family-friendly Christmas movies are a thing of the past. It could, that is, in a world without Will Ferrell. His innocently lovable portrayal of Buddy the Elf, a human raised by elves at the North Pole who sets out to find his real father in New York, brings the sincerity of Christmas movies past to the 2003 comedy Elf. Directed by Jon Favreau, it's quick-witted and current while tipping its hat to old-fashioned humor with a cast featuring James Caan, Bob Newhart and Ed Asner. It doesn't hurt that Zooey Deschanel's Jovie is not only cute as a button and nice to Buddy, but also sings Christmas songs that will melt you into a little candy cane-striped puddle. Experience a modern Christmas classic at midnight screenings this Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-764-9106 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Dec. 26; Sat., Dec. 27, 2008