A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)
December 14, 2022 7:04 AM - Subscribe

Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) is now all grown up and must deal with Christmas and all that comes with it... as a dad.

In addition to Peter Billingsley reprising his role as Ralphie, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, R. D. Robb, and Zack Ward reprise their roles of Randy Parker, Flick, Schwartz, and Scut Farkus, respectively. Erinn Hayes, River Drosche, and Julianna Layne play Ralphie's wife and his kids. Julie Hagerty (Airplane) plays Mrs. Parker in a role originated by Melinda Dillon (who retired from acting in 2007) in the original film. The film is dedicated to the memory of Darren McGavin (who played Ralphie's Old Man in the original film), who died on February 25, 2006 at the age of 83.

Directed by Clay Kaytis (The Christmas Chronicles). Written by Kaytis and Nick Schenk (who usually works for Clint Eastwood on stuff like Gran Torino or Cry Macho).

78% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max. Also available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.

I posted this because I heard someone saying that "A Christmas Story finally got a sequel!" Sir... There were already two follow-ups on PBS American Playhouse, The Star-Crossed Romance of Josephine Cosnowski and Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss. I haven't seen those, but Shepherd himself wrote them. Then there was Jean Shepherd & Bob Clark's theatrical sequel showing the Parkers on summer vacation, It Runs in the Family (with Kieran Culkin as Ralphie and Charles Grodin as The old Man), later retitled My Summer Story for home video. It wasn't bad. Then there was the straight-to-DVD A Christmas Story 2 directed not by Bob Clark but by Brian Levant (Jingle All the Way) and written not by Shepherd but by Nat Maudlin (who wrote the 1998 version of Dr. Dolittle).. It was... how it sounds.

So really, A Christmas Story Christmas isn't the second entry in the series; it's the sixth.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't seen this yet, and considering the mixed record of the other films wasn't planning on it, but if Peter Billingsley (who is a very busy producer who generally does not bother to cash in on his Xmas film fame) is back in and the reviews are solid to good, I may have to check it out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:48 AM on December 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed it more than I expected. It had a similar vibe to the original and some laugh out loud moments.
posted by kittensyay at 10:59 AM on December 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have a few people in my life who are original Christmas Story die-hard fans. We watched this together a few weeks ago. I kept my expectations low, but this really did justice to the original. It felt like an homage without being kitsch or cloying. There were some nice nods to the original story, but it felt like it was updated just enough. Even my die-hard fans thought this was a good movie ("much better than Christmas Story 2, for sure"). The new Mrs. Parker fit right in. I'm not sure how I feel about Randy's character arc, but that's forgivable.

Like the original, this feels like a bunch of short stories kinda strung together into a movie. Overall, it was way better than expected, and I'll probably watch it again.
posted by hydra77 at 11:00 AM on December 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

An entertaining picture that convincingly mimics the tone of Shepherd's stories. Even including the fabulist bits that seem more like legend than something that really happened. Alternately uproarious and heart-aching, I was glad I put it on last night after being reminded of it by this post.

I also thought it was really decent to have all the kids from the original reprise their roles in this movie. Not only that, but that continuity elevates something that it would be easy sneer at — Kaytis includes audio or visual flashbacks of seemingly every line people quote from the original — into something that really makes you think about what it means to have someplace to call Home no matter where you wind up in the world.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:45 PM on December 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

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