Yesterday a bunch of us watched Elf with a friend who’d never seen it before.
(Yes, I have friends. I know, I’m surprised too.)
I love watching movies with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they find it scary or boring or hilarious or overrated or beautiful? Will they lose their shit giggling at the same things you do or will they die laughing at something you never really noticed before?
Those are my favorite moments: when your friend points out or laughs uncontrollably at something you might not have picked up on or found funny on your own; the moments that really let you see the movie through new eyes.
There were a lot of those with Elf, but by far the most memorable was when Buddy is preparing for Santa’s arrival at the department store and dumps a bucket of LEGO out onto the floor.
Those of us who’ve seen the film know the fantastic sculpture-in-progress Buddy has in store for us two cuts later, but Roslyn, totally in the dark and mystified, blurted out, “Wh-why is he throwing LEGO on the floor?” When the answer presented itself a few seconds later, she burst into peals of laughter.
“Oh my god,” she gasped. “For a minute I thought he was pulling some kind of Home Alone shit with the LEGO and I was like, ‘Why would you try to hurt Santa? I thought you loved him!'”
Of course that set the rest of us off, because the mental image of Buddy going all Kevin McCallister trap happy on his beloved boss in red was too much to handle, and the rest of Buddy’s decorating spree was drowned out by a discussion of just how insane and potentially awesome an Elf-ed up version of Home Alone would be.
For the record, I would totally pay to see that movie.