Movie Title: A Christmas Story
Actors: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, R.D. Robb, Tedde Moore, Yano Anaya, Zack Ward, Jeff Gillen
Director: Bob Clark
Method of Viewing: TV (TBS 24 Hour Marathon)
Location of Viewing: Home
Viewing with: Family
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% – Both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous, A Christmas Story deserves its status as a holiday perennial.
My rating: **
My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Yet another movie where I simply can’t understand the appeal. This movie feels like it’s just a boring tale of some kid’s Christmas. There’s no real antagonist, and a very weak central plot. It’s really just a collection of mini-tales from childhood. Everyone says that it reminds them of their childhood, and while I saw a few small scenes, overall it was just some stories. I didn’t find much humor, I didn’t find much heart warming stuff, and was there even a message that most Christmas movies have? This might capture childhood, but it seems to forget it needs a purpose.
The number one reason people seem to love this movie is the familiarity with their own childhood. They seem to see so many elements of their own childhood in the one Christmas story of these kids. To be frank, I saw one or two elements but not much. The way the kid fantasized about his world was just not that familiar to the way I remember my childhood. Honestly, if that’s all this movie has to offer than it’s no wonder if found it to be so boring.
It’s difficult to talk about this movie’s plot, simply because the plot is barely existent. Ralphie wants to get a gun, and he is convinced that he has to get good grades and be good in order to get that gun. If you call that a plot, then the plot comes up for about 20-30 minutes in the entire movie. The rest is nothing more than one random event after another. None of these events are really humorous, just odd and boring.
While others find this movie represents Christmas perfectly, I honestly feel like it’s one of the most un-Christmas movies of the Christmas movies I’ve seen. My experience is that a Christmas movie has to have some kind of plot where Christmas has to be saved. Or at the very least, someone discovers the spirit of Christmas. I suppose this could be seen as a more realistic and materialistic version of a Christmas movie, but I would prefer the over idealized version of Christmas when I’m settling in to watch a movie over the holidays.