A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) Movie Review
Every year for almost half my life, my family would gather around the television on Christmas Day to catch this film. One channel would play it back to back for the entire Christmas Day. It normally doesn’t feel like Christmas without it. It is an enjoyable story set in the ’40s that follows Ralphie, a nine year old boy whose Christmas wish is a B.B. gun, the one toy he idolizes above everything else.
He asks his mother, his teacher, and Santa Clause at the mall. However, they all give him the same answer. “You’ll shoot your eye out.” His mother and teacher are too conscientious to condone it, and of course, Santa Clause is just a temp in a red suit. So, who would give him the gift he so desperately desires? The one person to whom he does not think to appeal. His father.
It begs the question. How close are the two? The film clarifies that Ralph lives in fear of him. Like any typical American family in the 40s, the father works and the mother cares for the house and children. It would make sense that Ralphie would feel closer to his mother when his father spends most of his free time with his nose in the newspaper or yelling obscenities at the furnace in the basement.
Then again, this film isn’t so much about a child’s pursuit for a toy as much as it is about a child developing relationship with members of his family. He feels closer to his father after receiving the gift he wants. He feels closer to his mother after she shows him compassion when he fights a classmate. The relationship he shares with his brother remains as complicated as can be expected, but even they have their moments.
A Christmas Story is one of the most iconic Christmas films ever made. It is an honest, wholesome take on the typical American family Christmas. Even though it is thirty-two years old (older than me) it remains alive on television and in the hearts of families all over the country.
Don’t miss the TBS 24 hour marathon on Christmas Day.