A Christmas Story Christmas a Worthy Sequel

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Christmas Story Christmas

While other sequels and adaptations have been attempted for Jean Shepherd's classic "A Christmas Story," it took nearly forty years for the original cast to grow into the parts necessary for a true-to-spirit continuation to the story.

Peter Billingsley returnas as Ralph Parker, along with Scott Schwartz as Flick, RD Robb as Schwartz, and Zack Ward as Scut Farkus. Ralph and his family -- wife Sandy (Erinn Hayes) and kids Mark (River Drosche) and Julie (Julianna Layne) -- are preparing the house for Christmas and waiting for the arrival of grandma and grandpa. But when Ralph gets the phone call from his mother that the Old Man has passed, plans get changed, and Christmas gets relocated to Hohman, Indiana -- which hasn't changed a lick since the 1940s.

Now Ralph, already pressured with trying to sell his novel before the end of the year or give up on his dreams, has the added burden of having to make this Christmas memorable for happy reasons, not sad ones. It's a quest with tragicomic obstacles like a snowball to the eye, a daredevil sled jump, snowman-killing bullies with a snowmobile, and a little breaking-and-entering. On top of all that, Ralph has to write the hardest thing he's ever been tasked with -- an obituary for the Old Man.

Clay Kaytis directs this nostalgia-laden tale, which he co-wrote with Nick Schenk and Peter Billingsley to seamlessly blend with the style of the first film -- and to bring it full circle in a charming and loving way. The only deviation in characterizations is with Ralph's mom, and not just because Julie Hagerty replaces Melinda Dillon. Mrs. Parker is more idiosyncratic and eccentric than she was in the original, dodging carolers and cheating at Scrabble. But it's a minor adjustment, and one we can forgive as we take into account that Mrs. Parker is advancing in age.

"A Christmas Story Christmas" is currently playing on HBO Max, and is well worth the viewing.

Watch A Christmas Story Christmas on any of the streaming services listed here.

4.5 / 5.0