Review of Christmas Story
By: Jason Bechard

Hey, I Watched This! Reviewing Movies I've watched recently.

Hello, and welcome back!

I had a bit of a conundrum for this month's article. I tried to find a lesser known holiday movie to review, but every list I found online, listed the same flicks, most of which may not be top holiday flicks, but they are certainly not unknown. That, or they just didn't draw my attention. And I am certainly not going to watch any of the thousands of "cookie cutter", "rinse and repeat", Lifetime/Hallmark holiday movies. (Saturday Night Live recently parodied Lifetime/Hallmark with this exact same sentiment, and it was awesome!)

So, I am going to share with you my review of my favourite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story (1983).

Now, I will admit, my feelings on this movie are deeply ingrained from 36 years of fandom. Naturally, this means my review is completely biased, and I will not apologize for this.

In case you are unfamiliar with this masterpiece, here is the IMDB synopsis, "In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift."

Based on the Book "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by Jean Shepherd, directed by Bob Clark(Black Christmas–1974, Porky's–1981, Baby Geniuses–1999, and starring Peter Billingsley as Ralpie, Melinda Dillon as Mother Parker, Darren McGavin as The Old Man Parker, Jean Shepherd himself as Adult Ralphie, who narrates the story, and many more.

Most Holiday movies focus on the "magic" of Christmas, Santa, elves, Rudolph, Christmas Angels, etc. A Christmas Story is just a simple story about a young boy, and the one present he really wants for Christmas, but knows it is a long shot. The only "magic" involved, besides the entire movie itself, is seen during Ralphie's daydreams. This film is genuine, realistic, and heartfelt, which is exactly what makes it stand out.

From the very first time I saw this movie, even to this very day (I watch this movie every Christmas season, usually at least twice), I feel connected to Ralphie. Ralphie is me. All of his feelings, his interactions with his friends and family, and particularly, his daydreams, were all exactly as I have experienced in my life. Okay, maybe not EXACTLY, but very, very similar. Every kid obsesses over one particular present each year, for me it was a Commodore 64 computer. I dropped hints all the time because one of my best friends growing up had one, as did one of my closest uncles. My "Old Man" also cussed like a sailor, only not cleanly like in the movie. I was bullied as a kid, and when Ralphie "snaps" and takes down his bully, Scut Farkus, I STILL get choked up, because Ralphie is doing what I never had the guts to do. And, when it is revealed that Ralphie's "Old Man" did indeed buy him his beloved "Official Red Ryder Carbine–Action Two–Hundred–Shot Range Model Air Rifle", the pure and innocent joy that Ralphie emotes, and the accompanying joy the "Old Man" has at Ralphie's happiness, is exactly how my father and I felt when I did get my Commodore 64! My Dad still says that is his favourite Christmas memory.

The actors are all perfect in their roles. Just enough quirky, with a smidge of "over the top". Their protrayals are spot on for the 1940's era. Sure, some of the dated references will be lost on younger generations, but I have witnessed, first–hand, that this movie still captures the imagination of some kids of the current generation. Billingsley's "Ralphie" is just so damn relatable in every scene, Dillon's "Mom" is just so sweet, but firm, Ian Petrella's "Randy", Ralphie's younger brother, is so freakin' adorable("Show mommy how the piggies eat"), and McGavin's "Old Man" damn near steals the show, particularly during his "Major Award" scenes. No character in this film seems forced, or out of place. Every single character is a perfect fit with the rest.

I want to gush over every scene of this movie, but I don't want to totally spoil it (WHAT?!).

Don't get me wrong, there are so many great Holiday films that I love a lot. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 and 2000), Elf (2003), The Santa Clause (1994) and its sequels, Jack Frost(1998), not to mention the Rankin/Bass classics or A Charlie Brown Christmas, but most of these, again, focus on the "magical" side of Christmas.

Again, I know my review is biased, but for my money, A Christmas Story(1983) is the best Christmas movie ever. So damn genuine. So damn "real". SO DAMN GOOD!

I give A Christmas Story (1983) 7 STARS!! (YEP, that feels right!)

Agree? Disagree? It really doesn't matter. What matters is that you feel the message, the true spirit of Christmas, no matter what your favourite Holiday movie might be. Find your joy! Love your family!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Have a Happy New Year!

"Be sure to drink your OVALTINE!"

See you next year, Folks!

As always…Please, feel free to leave any comments, questions, or suggestions, down below! I'd love to hear from you!

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