A Christmas Story 2

Last year for Christmas my baby sister Jana presented me with a gift, declaring (gleefully, I thought) “You’ll hate it!” My immediate gut reaction was to make cooing noises resembling ‘I’m sure it’s lovely’ but something stopped me. This was Jana. She gets me. She’s not struck by second thoughts or buyer’s remorse. She knows I’m going to hate this. She wants me to hate it.

a-christmas-story-2-group-shotIt was a copy of A Christmas Story 2. That’s right: the sequel. Didn’t know it had one? Yeah, me neither. And A Christmas Story is my favourite holiday movie of all time. It’s just so charming and nostalgiarrific (it even caused me to call Jana a bitch in last year’s review!). But a sequel? Isn’t anything sacred?

Answer: no. Nothing is. But some things should be. This movie is not exactly terrible, it’s just terribly derivative. It’s supposedly the same family – Ralphie, his weird kid brother Randy, his cantankerous old man, and his poor, harried mother – just 5 years later. Of course, it’s all new actors and this time Daniel Stern is playing the old man, and while he’s not bad, he’s not Darren McGavin. It tries really hard to have the same narrative style, but I missed the sarcasm, the nearly dark undertones of the first.  This one is clearly a pale imitation, and one that recycles the same jokes: the awful outfit A_Christmas_Story_2_2from Aunt Clara, the tongue getting stuck, even the leg lamp makes a comeback. And of course Ralphie’s lusting over that one perfect gift again, only gone are the days when a red ryder BB gun; Ralphie’s grown up and this year, he wants a car (and if you remember his stingy old man, then you know how likely he is to get it). The film even attempts to recreate the fantasy bits which I so loved in the first and quite hated in the second. They’re not just a bad imitation, they’re dragging down an already sub par movie.

imagesThe sequel fails to recapture the magic of the first. But if you’re tired of watching the same thing every year, or if your sister’s trying to get your goat – well, tis the season.

Meanwhile, I’m still thinking about that one perfect gift. I never asked for a car or a gun but last year I wrote about the Barbie horse trailer that I always wanted and never got. I got plenty, let me tell you, but there is tumblr_m9wdv7MfbY1qz9dz7o1_500still one thing that sticks out as The Best Present Ever. It was a pair of Doc Martens – a perfect, special pair chosen just for me that I knew meant my mother had gone to Montreal to get. Those boots wore the scuff marks of nearly every concert I ever attended. I’d often wear them with a short skirt and a looooong jacket. I loved them dearly, both because they were cool boots, and because I knew the trouble my mother had gone to for them. I loved them so dearly they are still in my closet today (they’re a little awkward to scrapbook).

What was your Best Present Ever?

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38 thoughts on “A Christmas Story 2

  1. fatmilton

    Glad you moved up from the poop series… just dunno how you adjusted to this one..lol
    Not having had many “presents” I guess the one I got from my dad when abt 12 would be the best. He gave a used watch..very fancy. lol…(waterproof you know) I lost it that same year swimming in the ocean… It was nice to have it for a while.

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  2. DotedOn

    I saw The Christmas Story last week after reading one of the comments where you said it was your favorite Christmas movie. It took me a while to get it but I could easily identify with it 🙂
    The best Christmas present ever, I got it from my ex (of course, after we broke up). It’s the paid version of Words With Friends. He had lost me already but after that, I could play non-stop without having to wait for the stupid adds (and that meant that I didn’t have to look up to look at him because there was no idle moment). I know, I’m awful but I always tell him: you gave me The Best Present Ever! 😀

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  3. calensariel

    Oh, that’s an easy one for me. Christmas 1963, 12-years-old, my FIRST stereo. It opened up the world of Rock-n-Roll to me, and I got it just in time for the British invasion on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964. Looked like a suitcase, and the speakers on the end detached so you could spread them part. Best gift ever! 😀

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    1. Jay Post author

      Aw, that’s so cool!
      I remember my first stereo too, though it was one of those guilty divorce gifts you get on your first dual Christmas.

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  4. Carrie Rubin

    I’ve never heard of this sequel. Sounds like it’s just as well.

    My favorite present would either be the subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio my husband got me years ago (back when it first started and you could get a lifetime subscription for a few hundred dollars) or the $40 plastic treadmill shelf he bought me so that I can put my laptop on it and walk slowly while I write. My back can’t handle sitting for too long, and it’s not good for us to do so anyway. So one of those two. My hubs is a good gift buyer. He knows what his introverted wife likes. 🙂

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  5. Wendell

    I heard about this sequel last year in a tv commercial. It looked awful. Since the original is also my all-time fave holiday movie, I flat out refuse to watch this.

    Best gift ever? Probably the Sugar Ray Leonard boxing gloves I got when I was 10 or 11.

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  6. In My Cluttered Attic

    I couldn’t stand the idea of seeing a sequel to the masterpiece of Christmas nostalgia. My favorite Christmas gift was a banana seat, metallic lime green, stingray bike, with reflectors. “It was the greatest gift I had ever received, or ever would receive.” 😀

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  7. fragglerocking

    I don’t do Christmas movies (like I don’t do horror movies, same thing really to me) so never saw the 1st, and won’t see this 😀
    Best present ever? Can’t choose, I tend to get new stuff for photography so every year’s the best!

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    1. Jay Post author

      I’d never heard of it either. Jana just hunts down crazy gifts. For my 30th she actually got me a full set of the New Kids on the Block Barbie dolls (I had 2 Joes as a kid).

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  8. kmSalvatore

    Well your right I had no idea there was a sequel. And now I know never ever to look or watch for it ;)!
    Let’s see my all time favorite presents was a glass cutter (for bottles ) when I was about 15 .. Every one got glass vases from me ;)) the early years if my artistic abilities ;))

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  9. Liz A.

    They’re calling it A Christmas Story 2 now? Oh, no, it’s not the one I’m thinking about. (Just looked it up on imdb.com.) There was a follow up that was also based on the writings of Jean Shepherd… Let me see if Google will help…

    It Runs in the Family. 1994. Completely different cast as well, but I heard it wasn’t that terrible. It’s not A Christmas Story.

    Best Christmas present ever… Yikes. I don’t know. The Cabbage Patch Kid (that they managed to find the year that everyone had to have one)? The year that Santa “found us” after the fire (Christmas Eve)? Those are the two that come to mind, but I don’t know if they’re the best ever.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I got a Cabbage Patch doll (named Maude – a redhead) when my parents got a new baby (named Jess – a brunette – who also got a Cabbage Patch doll named Valerie, also a brunette).

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  10. Christopher

    Having been through My Summer Story, another alleged sequel to A Christmas Story, I’m going to pass on this one. Granted My Summer Story wasn’t bad but the original was lightning in a bottle. And the original made my Uncle Henry laugh. If you knew my Uncle Henry you’d be surprised to know he ever smiled, let alone laughed, but he lived through that era. He and I watched it on network TV and during the commercials he’d glare at me and snap, “AND THAT’S EXACTLY HOW IT WAS!”

    My best gift ever was a surprise birthday trip to Atlanta planned by my wife. Since my birthday is in late December it was also a Christmas gift but between seeing the Cirque du Soleil, the aquarium, a Dali exhibit, and dinner at an Irish pub where “Old Red Eyes Is Back” came on as soon as I walked in the door it was an amazing gift.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I always think that Best Gift Ever is going to be a thing from your childhood, but it seems for quite a few people it wasn’t.
      I also think it’s interesting that your favourite gifts to receive were not necessarily my favourite gifts to give!
      Although I like both of those choices – especially since I benefit from them as well!

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  11. Allen

    I never had the displeasure of seeing this paragon of putrescence. (And speaking of putrescence, I think I’d rather get a pair of socks in my stocking than this movie.)

    But as another commenter mentioned, there were also a couple of earlier sequels to “A Christmas Story.” One was “My Summer Story,” and the other was “Ollie Hopnoodles Haven of Bliss.”

    I never saw the former, but the latter I had taped off the TV in early 1990s. It’s hard to find a copy today (Amazon has only a VHS version for around $100), but the movie’s not that bad. All different actors, but the same narrator, Jean Shepherd. Ralphie gets a summer job moving a refrigerator up a flight of stairs, and then the family goes on a road trip. That’s pretty much all I remember.

    This was a great review of “A Christmas Story 2,” and it further solidifies my resolve not to bother watching the movie. 🙂

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  12. Allen

    I never had the displeasure of seeing this paragon of putrescence. (And speaking of putrescence, I think I’d rather get a pair of socks in my stocking than this movie.)

    But as another commenter mentioned, there were also a couple of earlier sequels to “A Christmas Story.” One was “My Summer Story,” and the other was “Ollie Hopnoodles Haven of Bliss.”

    I never saw the former, but the latter I had taped off the TV in early 1990s. It’s hard to find a copy today (Amazon has only a VHS version for around $100), but the movie’s not that bad. All different actors, but the same narrator, Jean Shepherd. Ralphie gets a summer job moving a refrigerator up a flight of stairs, and then the family goes on a road trip. That’s pretty much all I remember.

    This was a great review of “A Christmas Story 2,” and it further solidifies my resolve not to bother watching it. 🙂

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  13. bp7o9

    Thanks for the review (so I avoid the remake) AND for bringing back memories of the original. I must get a copy of that; my favorite holiday film as well.

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