A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)

christmas story christmas poster 2022 peter billingsley
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Better than expected, carries themes of the original

Falls short of the original, too much rehash

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Christmas Story Christmas

Studio:  Warner Bros/Legendary Entertainment/Wild West Picture Show Productions

Genre(s):  Seasonal/Comedy/Drama/Family

Release Date(s):  November 17, 2022

MPAA Rating:  PG

christmas story christmas ralphie wife sandy peter billingsley erinn hayes

You’re a failure, Ralphie…you’ll never amount to anything!!!

Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) is an inspiring writer in Chicago with a wife named Sandy (Erinn Hayes) and children Mark (River Drosche) and Julie (Julianna Layne).  While awaiting his first book deal, Ralphie gets a call from his mother (Julie Hagerty) and learns tragedy has struck just before the holiday.  Ralphie and his family travel to Hammond, Indiana, and Ralphie is tasked with bringing his family the best Christmas ever…but Ralphie could just repeat the mistakes of the past.

Directed by Clay Kaytis, A Christmas Story Christmas is a holiday family comedy-drama.  The film is a sequel to A Christmas Story from 1983 and features a script partially penned by Peter Billingsley.  The film was released on HBO Max on November 17, 2022 and received moderate to positive reviews.

A Christmas Story is a classic, but it is a somewhat divisive classic.  The movie is rather harsh, and some don’t like the dark humor being tied to the holiday.  I always highly identified with Ralphie and the original film because the story really captured what it was like to be a kid and really want something for Christmas.  The film has its moments.

christmas story christmas ralphie flick schwartz scott schwartz rd robb peter billingsley

More of the wacky adventures of Flick and Schwartz

The film follows other attempts to match the success of the original with adaptations of other Jean Shepherd stories and characters (including the awful 2012 A Christmas Story 2).  The movie does get the tone of the original film, and it does have heart (things like the placing of ornaments on the tree definitely is something that happened in my family).  Having grown up around Ralphie’s age, his adult problems are identifiable…and the attempts to recapture the magic of Christmas as an adult.  It doesn’t always work, but for the most part it does.

It is odd to see the chubby-cheeked Peter Billingsley as a middle-aged man…I never saw him as that until this movie.  As a kid, he got a lot of kid actor leeway, but he isn’t necessarily the strongest actor.  Erinn Hayes isn’t bad as Ralphie’s wife and though I was sad that Melinda Dillon didn’t come back for the film, Julie Hagerty is a pretty good substitute for her.  The Flick (Scott Schwartz) and Schwartz (R.D. Robb) stuff is some of the weaker parts (though going back home to find those friends that never “left” is a thing).  Zack Ward of course makes an appearance as Scut Farkus and it is pretty decent…though I wish both Ian Petrella and Yano Anaya were more involved.

christmas story christmas scut farcus police officer zack ward

The town bully becoming the town cop…shock and awe

The movie is moved to 1973, and there isn’t necessarily the wholesomeness of the 1940s…I felt that change in time could have been better used and the changes in society could have been explored a bit more.  The film does have that warmth that the original film had, and the world of Parkers seems both cozy but also cold.

The movie was surprisingly better than I thought but it also wasn’t as good as it could have been.  I had a low bar to clear, and the movies does clear it.  I don’t know that the movie has as much lasting power, or that it will become a “yearly” watch with “24-Hours of A Christmas Story Christmas”…but with tons of pretty bad Christmas movies, this movie isn’t necessarily one of them.

Related Links:

A Christmas Story (1981)

A Christmas Story Live! (2017)

A Christmas Story 2 (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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