retro movie review – A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)

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It’s the 1940s in Indiana, and all 9-year-old RALPHIE really really wants for Christmas is a RED RYDER 200-shot carbine action air rifle. Of course his parents say, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” This leads Ralphie on an adventure to find Santa and make sure his Holiday wish is heard.

A CHRISTMAS STORY is one of those Holiday classics that parents just might despise. They don’t want their children asking them for a gun, or asking questions about adult content. It’s a shame really, because this movie is so much more than a kid wanting a BB gun for Christmas. Along the way we get several hilarious anecdotes that the whole family can relate to.

This is a great movie to watch together, especially if the children are older than Ralphie (ie: 9+). There are just so many quotable moments. There are so many relatable moments – whether it’s getting bundled up for the cold, sticking your tongue to a metal pole, or turkey dinner getting ruined.

We get to re-experience childhood memories, and imagine how previous generations experienced the holidays. The movie has scenes about eating your vegetables, dealing with bullies, learning about swearing, listening to radio programs with a secret decoder ring, visits to Santa at the mall… and a leg lamp. That’s right, a long female leg in a seductive stocking and a lampshade skirt.

This movie is perhaps more grown up and racy than your average holiday special. But it’s also much more special because it doesn’t pander to a younger audience. Grandpa will laugh, dad and mom will laugh, children will laugh. This is a Christmas movie for everyone. Underneath its rough(er) exterior, is a big heart. The movie never gets too sentimental. It never verges towards melodrama. It’s just cynical enough.

The whimsical narration is a huge charming draw for CHRISTMAS STORY. The narration has such a unique and flavourful voice. You could just listen to these stories with audio alone and still be greatly entertained. What makes the movie so special is how well all these little stories are joined together as one cohesive narrative.

I still watch A CHRISTMAS STORY every year. It’s a holiday staple. It’s a cult classic that seems to have withstood the ravages of time. Make sure to pass this on to the next generation. Don’t let it SLIP THROUGH the cracks. The holidays are also great for nostalgia. It’s okay to feel melancholy. This movie guides you through these emotions, while making you laugh along the way.

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What do you think?

Is CHRISTMAS STORY the ultimate holiday classic? For pure enjoyment and fun, is there anything better for the whole family to watch?

Do you still want a Red Ryder BB gun?

Do kids still stick their tongues to metal?

Is this movie the perfect balance of adult humour and childhood innocence?

5 thoughts on “retro movie review – A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)

  1. I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and it took me some time to “get” it.
    I liked it, it’s really funny. Of course I could relate to it!! I loved the Chinese restaurant part 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Chinese restaurant is classic. I love that part too. There are so many parts where I think, Oh I tried that. Or I heard that before. Glad you enjoyed the strange comedy of this one. It does take some getting used to. I hope you give it another shot next Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

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