There might be a few or more individuals out there that would call me a Scrooge or something worse for saying that a sequel to A Christmas Story would be a bad idea, but there are only a few Christmas movies that might be able to pull off a sequel, and this isn’t one of them. Granted, if it turns out to be humorous and in any way successful then I’ll have to eat my words a bit, but the current prediction is that this is a less than worthwhile idea since not only did the original movie end in such a great way, but it was able to move from start to finish in a manner that a lot of kids could relate to no matter what era it’s watched in. Bringing the movie back for a sequel, and showing a grown-up Ralphie visiting his old home, feels kind of like showing up to a party when people are already leaving. The first movie wasn’t everyone’s idea of a good time since folks that weren’t born until the late 90s or after 2000 appear to get lost with some of the humor.
But honestly and truly, this movie was great for the time in which it was released since it’s a step back in time that shows how Christmas used to be and how life around the holidays was so incredibly hectic, especially for kids that had a specific gift they wanted. The first movie was the type of story that a lot of kids can relate to since at that age a lot of kids might think that they know a lot when in truth they don’t know nearly as much as they believe. Plus, the everyday life that Ralphie and Randy went through was funny despite the bullying and the peer pressure, and the fact that Ralphie’s tendency to daydream was a little creepy at times.
But there’s also the idea that people became invested in the characters as well since Ralphie was tough for some folks to like but he ended up winning them over, while Randy was an oddity as well but he became just another part of the story. The parents were more or less dominant forces in Ralphie’s world that he had to maneuver around as best he could, while the rest of the cast were there to add whatever they could to the story. But the main point is, the audience was able to invest in the cast and the story since it was something they were comfortable with and had seen before. That might be the argument for the sequel, but it’s not bound to be the same since folks won’t know or recognize Ralphie’s family, and the original cast won’t be the people that everyone remembers. To make a long story short, there’s no longer a connection with the main idea of the movie since things have changed in such a way that there’s little to no real connection left. The connection that fans did have was to a younger Ralphie and the world he inhabited with his family. Trying to go back to that would be like trying to enjoy the most recent Vacation movie in the same manner as the originals.
Sequels are bound to keep their less than stellar reputation for a while longer since their need to either compliment or outdo the original movie creates a need to do more, show more, and otherwise overcome the original story in a manner that is insanely tough to get right. Many sequels are either underwhelming or go so over the top that they end up becoming ridiculous additions to the story that weren’t really needed. Some sequels have hit the mark and done just as well, if not better, than the original movies, but these are still rare and not always bound to stand the test of time depending on which movies they’re a sequel to. But trying to bring back the same feeling of A Christmas Story feels almost wrong in a way, as though it’s a crime against cinema and nature. Okay, so that sounds a little dramatic, but the fact is that the story ended on a good note with a pleasing conclusion, so why bother moving forward with it?
Ambition and a desire to see a story continued are easy to understand since there’s always that idea of what might have happened to one character or another. But some stories reach a conclusion that shouldn’t be tampered with since it wraps up the story in a nice way that doesn’t need any further examination. The debate over this is one that’s been had more than once, but in this case, it feels that a sequel, which is already on its way, was the wrong way to pay homage to one of the more pleasing Christmas movies of all time.
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