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A Christmas Story Christmas

‚ÄčAre you a candy cane-sucking, tinsel-loving, twinkling lights-admiring Xmas maniac? Or are you a Grinchy, grouchy, least wonderful time of the year motherhumbugger? Either way, your ol' pal Cinemavenger is here to wish you the merriest fucking Xmas ever. So stick that in your stocking and hang it up by the fire. Or toss it in. Whatever frosts your Xmas cake.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally reviewed the Xmas classic, A Christmas Story. Now, just in time for the big day itself, grab some hot cocoa and Danish butter cookies and curl up under your softest, warmest blanket for a review of A Christmas Story Christmas, the first real sequel to that holly, jolly gem.

I say "real" sequel because, depending on how you count them, there have been between two and seven other "sequels" in one form or another, but this is the first one that brings back multiple, key cast members from the original. Well, those that aren't deader than Scrooge's misanthropy.

It's 1973, and Ralphie (Peter "Piper" Billingsley) is now a forty-something-year-old father and husband living in Chicago. Ralphie and his wife, Sandy (Erinn "Rutherford B." Hayes), have two kids, Mark (River "Tam" Drosche) and Julie (Julianna "Whippersnapper" Layne), but despite that Ralphie has taken a year off to chase his dream of becoming a famous writer, a dream that's depressingly close to turning into the nightmare of returning to a 9-5, rat race job. You know, like pretty much every one of the rest of us assholes.

When Ralphie's Old Man passes away unexpectedly, the family heads back to Hohman, Indiana to spend Xmas with his newly widowed mother (now played by Julie "Airplane!" Haggerty), and in honor of the Old Man's passing Ralphie accepts the challenge of putting on the best . . . Xmas . . . ever.

Along the way, Ralphie reunites with his childhood besties, Flick (Scott "Did Porn" Schwartz) and Schwartz (R.D. "R.R." Robb), who are still triple dog daring each other to do fuckrendously stupid shit. Other actors from the first movie also make appearances, and I'd rather munch a lump of coal than spoil those cameos for you.

From the musical cues to Ralphie's daydreaming cutaways to Santa at Higbee's, A Christmas Story Christmas pushes every nostalgia button it can, and the result is charmingly familiar without, of course, coming close to the magic of its 1983 predecessor.

December 23, 2022