A Christmas Story Christmas Review


Warner Brothers

Peter Billingsly reprises his role as Ralphie from A Christmas Story

Jacob Hallberg, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again, which means temperatures will plummet, houses will be covered in a neon menagerie of festive decoration, and countless families will settle in to watch a good holiday movie. For many, that movie will be A Christmas Story, the 1983 classic about Ralphie, a nine year old boy navigating the strange world of childhood, as he embarks on a quest to get a Red Ryder BB-Gun. It’s a charming film that, for many, remains a staple of the holiday season.

A Christmas Story Christmas, a confusingly titled sequel to the aforementioned classic was released last month on streaming platform HBO Max. The sequel again follows Ralphie, now a struggling writer, as he tries to give his family a good Christmas in the wake of his fathers death. On paper, this is a great idea for a sequel. The problem is that the film is trying to be two things at once. It’s trying to be a light hearted comedy about holiday hijinks, and a more serious story about a man grappling with the death of his father. These two elements are, more often than not, at odds with each other. Leading to the film never spending enough time on either for them to feel fully developed. 

Another problem with this film is its characters, or lack thereof. Make no mistake, this is Ralphie’s story, he’s the only one with anything close to what you could call an arc. Ralphie’s wife, Sandy, and their two children are little more than plot devices used to move the story along. And there are very few scenes that don’t feature Ralphie. This could all be a coincidence, but it is interesting that Peter Billingsly, who plays Ralphie, also co-wrote the film’s screenplay.

That isn’t to say that the film is bad, or that there isn’t anything to like here, just that it has some problems, as all stories do. The returning characters are all a lot of fun, Ralphie and his friends Flick and Schwartz still have the same chemistry they had back in 1983. Additionally, the appearance of Scut Farkus, the bully who tormented Ralphie for much of the first film, was a welcome one. And, there are a few standout emotional moments which really tie the film together, even if in the end it doesn’t necessarily stick the landing.

All in all, A Christmas Story Christmas is a perfectly passable film that’s sure to please fans of the original, and anyone just looking for a fun movie this holiday season. Is it as good as the original? In the opinion of this reviewer, no. But that doesn’t stop it from being a fun watch for the whole family.