A Christmas Story Christmas is a faithful continuation of the classic tale

by Gordon Shelly

There is magic in Christmas. Certain movies and songs capture that holiday magic and make for holiday classics that are unavoidable during the jovial season.

So why not make a sequel to A Christmas Story, an all time classic, and try to recapture some of that magic.

Oh, wait, they already did that in 2012 and the movie was terrible. Not even worth writing a review about terrible.  So ten years later, let’s try it again in 2022. This time it will have most of the cast return, most notably Ralphie (Peter Billingsley). Okay, I’m in. I’ll watch.

The story is set in 1973, 33 years after the events of the first movie. When Ralphie learns of his father’s passing, he returns to his old stomping grounds, bringing his family along for the ride, and is tasked with the duty of being the new Christmas ringleader, and writing his father’s obituary.

Sound depressing? It kind of is.

The original movie worked so well because it was told from the eyes of children in an adult world. It had an authenticity to an innocence of a bygone era and the magic of hope, holiday, and families. It works because it is children making childish choices with adults helping to guide them along as best they can.

And that’s where this latest sequel doesn’t work. It is told from the perspective of the same character, as an adult, still making the same childish choices, with more severe consequences this time around.

Rather than a series of childhood vignettes ripe with small victories and life lessons, A Christmas Story Christmas is one defeat after another for about 80% of the movie.

Some of the hits and misses both come with the efforts to hit the viewer with nostalgia, and hit us they do, again and again and again. Every time we see one of the original actors, there is an obligatory flashback reminding us who the character was, and making sure we know it’s the original actor. This works most the time, but at the same time, it doesn’t give its audience any credit.

One of the most disappointing characters is Ralphie’s mother (Julie Hagerty). The acting is fine, but the character is very mean spirited most of the time; however, there is a nice balance when Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) brings balance to the tale in a surprise turn.

The movie does tie up all the loose ends and comes together nicely, recapturing some of that original magic and making it an enjoyable watch for the season.

I could definitely see a double feature for years to come in households celebrating the holidays with the saga of A Christmas Story.


Gordon’s Grade: B