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Elf (2003)

By Michael Schilf · October 2, 2010

Screenplay Genre: Comedy / Family / Fantasy

Movie Time: 91 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Pappa Elf explains that Buddy is not an elf, but instead a human whose mother, Susan Wells, gave him up for adoption before she died but never told his biological father, Walter Hobbs – who lives in a magical land called New York City – that Buddy was ever born. (00:13:00)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Now in the Big Apple, Buddy arrives at his father's office. Assuming Buddy is a Christmas-gram, Walter's secretary presents Buddy to Walter, and Buddy sings a way too personal "I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOU!" song. (00:23:30)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Buddy has been accepted into the Hobb's family, enjoys his first dinner with them and stays the night, culminating with Walter literally tucking Buddy in for a good night sleep. (00:45:16)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Buddy runs away, leaving a farewell note: "I ruined your lives and crammed ten cookies into the VCR. I don't belong here. I don't belong anywhere. I'll never forget you. Love, Buddy" (1:11:55)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

As Buddy tries to repair Santa's downed sleigh in the middle of central park, the notorious and "naughty" black-caped Central Park Rangers move in on horseback for the attack. (1:21:34)