film reel image

film reel image

Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Christmas Story Christmas 2022 * * * Stars


If you haven't seen the holiday classic A Christmas Story, well you've probably been living in isolation somewhere, in a bunker sans a television set. If you have seen A Christmas Story (and I have in spades), then be pleasantly surprised because there's a sequel and you can watch it On Demand. 

2022's A Christmas Story Christmas is that sequel, a true companion piece that was made to be viewed back-to-back with the original from a mere forty years ago (give or take). All the characters are back (Ralphie, Flick, Randy, Scott Farkus to name a few) and pretty much all the same actors are present to play them. It's like taking a trip down memory lane I tell you. Fix up some steaming hot cocoa and enjoy!

A Christmas Story Christmas isn't some VOD pic that would be destined for the $3.99 bin at Best Buy. I mean this is the real deal. Director Clay Kaytis really thinks things through, being so faithful to the consistency of first flick you'd think the ghost of the late Bob Clark talked to him in his sleep. 

Kaytis progresses the narrative very nicely, setting the events decades after with a grown-up Ralph Parker (Peter Billingsley having some goofy fun here) going back to his hometown in Indiana to celebrate Christmas with his own kids. I mean it's uncanny. The look is the same (soft and glowed lighting), the locales are similar (that's because they might be), the opening credits are familiar, and the music is 1983 spot-on. Heck, you could almost put A Christmas Story and this follow-up together to make one three-hour movie (why not?). Just add a title card that says well, "thirty years later". 

Same off-handed humor, same grossness with food (you'll see), same Bumpus hounds, same midwest exhaust. That's what you get with A Christmas Story Christmas. The only thing the film adds is its fascination with spirits (no not those spirits, the spirits of a liquid kind) and the fact that it actually borrows some of its slapstick from a certain National Lampoon endeavor. Nice touches all around. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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