A Christmas Story (****)

Posted on December 25th, 2002 in Movie Reviews by mynagirl

It’s Christmas Day, and we’re watching TNT’s Christmas Story marathon (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0085334), and I am again (as I am every year) amazed at the wonderfully crafted, perfectly told, exquisitely cast, and fabulously created story that is this movie.

I’d seen it as a child but didn’t really remember it. Scott re-introduced me to it two years ago, and I was absolutely blown over! The movie is nostalgic without being one bit smarmy, hilarious without being smart-ass, and wonderfully narrated without being distracting (as a matter of fact, the adult voice-over is so well done, it’s almost the star of the movie). The characters are richly told — Ralphie is believable throughout, whether he’s hopeful, sad, fearful, or angry. Ralphie’s mother and father are both wonderfully imagined, fitting within their early 50’s archetypes without being caricatures. The scene where the father attempts to repair the “Major Award” while the mother tries not to laugh in the background is pure genius.

If you’ve never seen this movie, I really recommend it. In my all-time top list of movies, it is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. I resisted it for years because if you haven’t seen it, it looks like so much pseudo-sentimental Christmastime dreck. However, if it looks silly and smarmy from the outside, it’s just as amazing and wonderful on the inside.

*Tiny plot spoiler*

As an aside, Scott and I both love this movie so much we decided to order Chinese food last night (Christmas Eve) instead of our planned Christmas Eve home-cooked feast. I think we’ve decided to have that as our annual tradition, now. (He even tried to order the Peking duck!)

*End spoiler*

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