A Christmas Story 2 (2012)
A Christmas miracle
Millions groaned simultaneously when it was announced earlier this year that there would be a direct-to-video sequel to the 1983 film A Christmas Story. And I can’t say that I blame said groaners. As I explained in a previous review titled “A Christmas bore-y,” the 1983 original film about parents who buy a gun for their scheming 10-year-old boy was an atrocious piece of work that has sullied the fine holiday of Christmas for the past three decades.
So I was none too eager to give A Christmas Story 2 a look-see. I reluctantly slipped the movie into my VHS, and then into my DVD player once that didn’t work. My expectations were quite low, but like the birth of a certain baby 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, a miracle occurred. Despite being based on a story by the same author, and featuring most of the same characters, A Christmas Story 2 succeeds in every way that the original failed.
A Christmas Story 2 takes place five years after the events of the first film. Much has changed, with main character Ralphie developing an interest in girls and cars as opposed to BB guns. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the comical cheapskate tendencies of Ralphie’s father, simply known as The Old Man.
Daniel Stern (City Slickers, Home Alone) takes over the role of Ralphie’s dad, and is the best part of this spectacular movie. He continues his battle with his archrival – the family’s faulty furnace – but also develops a new obsession: ice fishing. When a butcher has the gall to charge 40¢/pound for the family’s turkey dinner, The Old Man balks, and decides to spend day after day trying to catch the family an alternative feast.
Ralphie too is up to his old tricks, trying to plant the seeds for his parents to buy him his dream car for Christmas. But Ralphie’s adoration of this car leads him to damaging it while it is still at the lot, and he must engage in a series of hilarious escapades in order to raise the astronomical sum of $85 to pay off a cranky car dealer.
A Christmas Story 2 did not just go straight to home video. It also went straight to my heart. I am so pleased that in a few years we will no longer be subjected to 24-hour marathons of the wretched original film, and instead families can gather around the tube on Christmas Day, and spend their time not talking to one another while they watch this film and eat turkey. Or perhaps as The Old Man suggested, they could eat fish. Cod bless us, everyone!