REEL TIME: Christmas Story lives up to the hype of a classic


DVD cover art

Christmas Story rates as an all-time classic Christmas movie.

A Christmas Story is a great Christmas movie, only surpassed by the masterpiece that is the original Die Hard. The movie is nothing but laughs the entire time. It has some big names including Jean Shepherd, as narrator, Scot Schwartz, as Ralph’s friend Flick, and Darin McGavin, as the father. This cast does wonders with the script and make the movie work. Without this A Christmas Story would not be the masterpiece that it is

It opens as the main child narrating the story of his youth. Ralph wants to get a Red Ryder air powered bee bee gun. He tries some plans to get his parents to buy it, but fails. Meanwhile his father is fighting with the broken furnace and yells “obscenities”. The movie replaces the typical words hilariously with random “parent approved” words. The overprotective mother bundles up the little brother, for winter, to the point of immobility. A Christmas Story makes a superb first impression. It perfectly explains the main conflict and story line of the movie while also showcasing the comedy that makes this movie such a classic. In doing this it draws the viewer in and makes him want to continue to watch the rest of this excellent film.

In one of the most iconic scenes a kid is triple-dog-dared to lick a cold flagpole. His tongue gets stuck to the pole. It is one joke after another as the father wins a competition and receives a prize he claims to be exuberantly expensive. The box arrives and it turns out to be a lamp that is shaped like a sexy leg. This is yet another absolutely classic scene. These scenes are completely iconic. Even if you have not seen A Christmas Story you know the reference. They have constantly been parodied and used in countless shows and movies. I even know someone who uses the tongue stuck to the poll scene as a Christmas decoration.

He has a final plan to get a bee bee gun. Ralph was going to ask Santa. He is told by the mall Santa what he was told by both his mother and teacher, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Soon Christmas Eve arrives. He gets a gift from his aunt, a pink bunny suit. For some reason the 9-year old boy does not seem to like this gift. When all seems lost one more gift is discovered, from the father, a Red Ryder air powered bee bee gun. Ralph goes out and upon the first time shooting it he almost shoots his eye out. He says it was an icicle though. He completely tricks his mother. Deep down however Ralph knows that what everyone told him was true. It is a rather interesting end to the storyline. Although a little predictable, it was not a bad ending to the central plot. As for the other jokes in this section, honestly, they were a bit cliche, but still amusing and enjoyable. This is especially true in the contrast of the rest of the movie.

There are several running gags in the movie. One of these involves the neighborhood hooligans and takes place between the school and home scenes. Another involves the fantasies of Ralph and how he sees himself and others. This is truly hilarious. Another is the fathers cursing. It occurs often throughout the movie and is always replaced with weird phrases and parent sanctioned replacements. Ralph also starts to partake in such language. The words used are hilarious. The final running gag involves the neighbor’s dogs that run freely around the neighborhood. These jokes add a welcome air of consistency, aside from the main plot. They land fairly well and maintain their hilarity throughout the story. The running gags make for an extraordinary addition to A Christmas Story.

As was previously mentioned, this movie is absolutely and unequivocally superb. This is not only in through its humor but its cast and general atmosphere. The entirety of the movie is great and worth watching. Although, this is clearly shown by the fact that it is shown non-stop all day on several channels on and around Christmas and even Thanksgiving. If you can catch it, A Christmas Story is definitely worth a watch.