Twinkly Will Ferrell plays a man raised at the north pole who returns to his native New York City to bond with his long-lost father (James Caan, looking rather angry about the state of his career). Director Jon Favreau pitches this secular fable (2003) at the level of the old Rankin-Bass TV specials, which results in a smarmy and unconvincing family story and leaves Ferrell to carry the ball. A job in the Gimbel's toy department gives him a cute, cynical love interest (Zooey Deschanel) and a chance to run amok (assaulting the fake Santa in the public interest), but the film soon bogs down in fake hugs and a fakier climax involving Santa (Ed Asner) and his downed sled. David Berenbaum wrote the script; with Bob Newhart, unusually funny on the big screen as Ferrell's adoptive father.
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