A Christmas Story Christmas Review

The sequel to the holiday classic falls flat


Peter Billingsley as Ralph in A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)

Ethan Barker, Opinion/A&E Editor

A Christmas Story Christmas is the sequel to the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story, but is it good enough to be played 24 hours on Christmas Day?

In short, no.

The movie focuses on Ralph, now grown up, as he attempts to make Christmas special for his family after his father suddenly passes away. At the same time, he is working on an epic sci-fi novel that keeps getting rejected by publishers.

While there are a few funny and heartwarming moments, this movie relies on halfhearted jokes based on the original, falling flat in its attempt to recapture the nostalgia of the original.

Despite the overall dullness of the movie, there were a few enjoyable parts. The main draw of this movie was the return of many original cast members, mainly Peter Billingsley as a grown-up Ralph Parker. He was able to slip into the role again, and it felt like the same character, just more mature. However, the actor playing Old Man Parker, Darren McGavin, passed away in 2006, which kicked off the movie’s plot as Ralphie must now take over the role of making Christmas special for his family. The look of the 1970s is recreated well, and the house Ralph grew up in feels familiar if you grew up with the original.

However, most of the movie fell flat. The movie was clearly a cash grab for the nostalgia of the original, which itself was meant to capture the feeling of simpler times. This leads to the film being a boring rehash of the first film, with little originality and a lot of nostalgic sappiness. Ralph’s imagination sequences, funny in the first film, are overused and boring here.

Like the original, it’s an episodic affair, but that format doesn’t click as well as the 1983 classic. Much of the movie feels uninspired, and some scenes are direct takeoffs of the original or even from other movies. There’s one scene with a tree that’s too tall to fit in the living room that feels similar to a scene from Christmas Vacation, and a “triple-dog-dare” scene is far less funny this time around. An episode featuring carolers makes little sense, and little backstory is given on both new and returning characters.

While this movie has a few bright spots, including the production design and cast, it is overall very boring and uninspired. As with many recent streaming exclusives, it’s a halfhearted nostalgia grab, and nothing to remember.