Time: 94 mins.
Though I don't think this film was very popular when it first came out, it is now a cult classic with good reason. I look forward to the holiday season a little bit more because I know this will be playing several times all over the tube. If you've never seen it take the time out of your busy schedule and experience the joys of Christmas through Ralphie's eyes. You won't be disappointed. A CHRISTMAS STORY is a film everyone can relate to the childhood desperation of wanting that one special, nothing-else-will-do toy for Christmas. The audience is drawn into Ralphie's quest for his parents or just about anyone else to help him acquire a Red Ryder BB gun. He's knows it's impractical. His parents don't really have the money for such an expensive toy, but he must have it. His life will not be complete without it. All the adults he tries to convince tell him he's crazy, that he'll poke his eye out, but he doesn't care. Life is nothing without it.
What makes this film such a joy are the little moments from everyday life in a place where winter means bitter cold, piles of snow and constant disappointment. The scenes where the boys dare one of their classmates to stick his tongue against a flagpole or of watching Ralphie's little brother trying to walk to school in a dreaded snowsuit are priceless. If you've ever had to wear one of those infernal contraptions, you will wet yourself with laughter over the memories of just such trouble you had moving about. In the end, Ralphie has one hope left Santa. He makes his parents take him to the department store so he can sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wants. He doesn't really still believe in him, but he's desperate. However, once he reaches the magic position on Santa's lap, his mind goes blank. When asked what he wants, he can't think of anything to say. Santa has no time for this so he shoves him off his lap and over to the slide to the main floor of the store. Suddenly, Ralphie remembers a Red Ryder BB gun he shouts. Santa takes one look at him and gives him a response you won't soon forget.
As we all know Christmas stories are about having your wish come true and Ralphie is not disappointed Christmas morning. He gets the present he's been pining for. Unfortunately, like life, it doesn't go exactly like he planned nor does the family's Christmas dinner. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for. If you like your holiday movies more on the quirky side, this is a film you shouldn't miss. It has it's strange, uneven moments, but at least it's not overly sentimental and serious like most classic holiday fare. You'll be filled with the spirit of Christmas while getting more than a few laughs as well.