Overexposed comic star Will Ferrell is back, this time in an instant Christmas classic.  He plays Buddy, an orphan raised by stodgy elf Bob Newhart after inadvertently winding up in Santa’s sack (which only sounds dirty, I swear).  When he learns that he’s a human, and doesn’t really fit into a world populated by elves, he runs away to find his real father—James Caan.  Seriously, people, I can’t make this shit up.  The bad news is that his dad is a heartless publishing exec who can’t even connect with the son he already has.  His encounters with a mailroom, a revolving door, and a cynical Gimbel’s elf (Zooey Deschanel) make an incredibly sweet, funny, adorable movie.  Directed by Jon Favreau, star of Swingers and The Big Empty, whom I would give my left foot to have drinks with.  Just wait for the mixture of laughter and horror as Buddy eats gum off a subway railing.. Reviewed  15 December 2004