30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

8 of 31

Elf, Screencap via New Line Cinema


Buddy was always a misfit in the North Pole, and when he grows up he finds out why. He is, in fact, a human, who was adopted by an elf as a baby. Upon discovering this, he chooses to venture into the human world to find his birth father, Walter. Walter is a disengaged husband and father, who works a lot and is on the “naughty list.” Buddy’s appearance in his life is initially a nuisance, but his childlike wonder and excitement help put Walter into the Christmas spirit.

The Good

  • There is a woman in the story, I guess? That’s good, right?

The Bad

  • In keeping with the consistent pattern I’ve found with almost all of these movies, there’s really only one female character who is meaningful in any way. True, Emily Hobbs, Walter’s wife, convinces Walter to take Buddy in, but she has little to do with the rest of the story. Jovie is essentially the only woman of this movie.
  • She is also completely one-note. Jovie doesn’t really have a personality, so much as she reacts to Buddy’s personality. Which I get – he’s supposed to be over the top and take people aback. But that makes Jovie really, really suffer from a lack of interiority.

The Ugly

  • A year later, Buddy and Jovie have a baby. Seriously, why does this kind of thing keep happening in Christmas movies? You meet a weird guy who ends up being an elf, two months later you decide to have kids? Jovie’s whole purpose in this movie is to be like, “Wow, he’s weird, but I like him,” and then bear Buddy’s spawn. They honestly could have cut her out of the movie and it would have made virtually no difference. I know that’s cynical for a movie that’s so universally loved, but seriously, do better.