Christmas movies come in many forms, from traditional ("A Christmas Carol") to satiric ("Scrooged"), from touchingly poignant ("It's a Wonderful Life") to touchingly comic ("A Christmas Story"). And then you have the farces.
"Elf," a 2003 comedy directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell, belongs to the latter-most category. The plot involves one of Santa's helpers named Buddy who, for reasons that ultimately become clear, was raised at the North Pole. Learning that his real father (played by James Caan) doesn't know of his existence — and who, by the way, is on Santa's "naughty" list — Buddy decides to seek him out.
That thin plotline, then, gives Ferrell — the one-time "Saturday Night Live" cast member — an opportunity to pull off some of his more classic routines. Which is the whole point.
Other than celebrating Christmas, of course.
Tell them Santa sent you.