A Christmas Story Christmas review by Bobby Blakey
One of my all-time favorite holiday films and films in general is A Christmas Story. Over the years there have been a couple of follows ups including the 1994 film, My Summer Story and the 2012 film A Christmas Story 2. Now they have brought yet another follow-up this time bringing back most of the original cast including Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, R. D. Robb, and Zack Ward all reprising their roles as well as Peter Billingsly as Ralphie with Julie Haggerty taking on the role of Ralphie’s mother from Melinda Dillon who has retired from acting. Could this new feature bring some of the same holiday laughs and cheer or would you rather shoot your eye out?
A Christmas Story Christmas follows thirty years after the events of A Christmas Story (placing the story in the mid-1970s), where Ralphie returns to his former home in Hohman, Indiana with his wife and children and reunites with his old friends. His mother, now widowed after the passing of the Old Man, convinces Ralphie to give his family the kind of magical Christmas the Old Man always did; Ralphie soon realizes that the task is much more difficult than it seemed when Ralphie was a child.
Anytime a film like this is done to revisit a classic I am both excited and worried. The trailers looked fine, but could this actually work? The answer is happily yes. Of course it is not the original film, but it does a perfect job in my opinion of continuing the story, bringing the same fun and doing its own thing. There are elements that don’t always work, but for me this is exactly what I had hoped for and was all in revisiting these characters.
The story is simple enough to set things up to get Ralphie and his family back home in familiar territory. When doing this sort of thing you need more than just one character to get fans to invest and they did just that. There are
numerous fun returns of family and friends that aren’t really a secret, but not going to mention them here just in case you are heading in blind. I will say they all have some great moments to shine and feel part of the story as opposed to be just forced in for fan service.
While the other characters are here, this is once again Ralphie’s story and offers up all the fun and heart the original brought. There is an obvious modern look and feel to it despite it being in the 70s still not only brings back familiar locales and scenarios, but also the always fun and silly Ralphie daydreams. They also do a great job of doing a ton of homage sequences that felt natural to me as opposed to just trying to pander.
In the end this is not only a fun follow up to the original classic it serves up as a great Christmas movie all its own. Sure you need to see the original for it all to connect and because it’s awesome, but you could also watch this one alone and still enjoy it. I honestly kind of figured that even if this film worked it would be a one and done viewing for me like the previous sequels, but think this might be stepping up my holiday viewing as a double feature from now on.
Decide for yourself and check out A Christmas Story Christmas streaming on MAX, PST and now available on DVD from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.