In a year full of nostalgic films that missed the mark, A Christmas Story Christmas hits a home run. The perfect film to get you in the holiday spirit.
We review the HBO Max film A Christmas Story Christmas, which does not contain spoilers.
Thirty-nine years after the original film debut, we have a sequel to a holiday classic, A Christmas Story, titled A Christmas Story Christmas. What a mouthful that is. Does the movie fit well with the original? Let’s dive in.
The movie kicks off with Ralphie narrating what has gone down since being a little kid. He is married with a pair of kids and is in the middle of writing a novel. Every year his parents travel to meet with the family to have a big Christmas in Chicago. Ralphie sent his book to 16 publishers, and 14 said no. Finally, a publishing company agrees to meet with him only because he wouldn’t stop writing them. They also said they weren’t interested in the book.
Moments later, Ralphie gets a call that his father has passed away. While he wants to be down in the dumps over it, his mother tells him that that is not what his father would’ve liked. The pressure to make Christmas perfect for everyone starts to take a toll on Ralphie. Not that the pressure wasn’t enough, Ralphie’s mom asked him to write his father’s obituary. It might be the hardest thing that he has ever had to write.
Peter Billingsley was made for the role of Ralphie. He brought so much life to this role that makes you smile, laugh, and empathize with what Ralphie is going through. You can tell how much passion was put in between his acting and narrating throughout the film. It was almost as if he took it personally to ensure that they kept the legacy of the original intact—genuinely outstanding work by Billingsley.
Speaking of the original, one of the more impressive things about the film was how much it had that authentic feel. Taking us back into the old town and seeing the houses and flashbacks, you can’t help but be reeled into this world, and I loved it. They even used some similar notes to the original score. Of course, using many of the original actors from the first film helped out too. The writers and people behind the scenes knew they had to handle this story delicately and knocked it out of the park.
Look, I was very nervous about this movie because the original is a Valero household staple during the holiday season. My wife plays it ALL DAY during Christmas. But honestly, this movie is incredible. It’s funny, charming, and filled with so much nostalgia. They did right by the original, which makes me so happy. I can’t wait to add this to the yearly holiday watch schedule.
Overall, A Christmas Story Christmas aligns with the other great nostalgic films of the year (Top Gun: Maverick, Clerks III). You will laugh, cry, laugh, and be in the most incredible, joyous mood after you are done watching it. It’s the perfect movie to jumpstart your Christmas spirit. You won’t want to miss this one.
What did you think of A Christmas Story Christmas? Comment below.