3. 'Elf' (2003)
Pretty much every moment in this deliriously entertaining comedy – which stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, a North Pole elf who sets out to find his father after learning that he's really a human being – delights and amuses. But Buddy's stint at the department store ranks among the highlights. (Gimbels, incidentally, closed in 1987, but it's perfect for this movie, since the store was the big rival of Macy's in 'Miracle on 34th Street.') Buddy uses his elf skills to redecorate the toy department, begins a tentative courtship of his co-worker Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), and gets really excited about the arrival of Santa – until he realizes that the store has hired an impostor, at which point all cotton-headed-ninny-muggins heck breaks loose.
Alonso Duralde is the author of 'Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas' (Limelight Editions).