A Christmas Story Christmas

A Christmas Story Christmas ★★

Though made with seemingly good intentions, this largely unnecessary legacy sequel makes a crucial mistake in misunderstanding the character of The Old Man from A Christmas Story, repositioning him in death as some kind of over-caring, Clark Griswold-esque "King of Christmas." It's a weird choice and a terribly awkward misread of the original film. Additionally, this movie leaves me with so many questions, including:

-- So let me get this straight. Ralphie's wife agreed to let him take a year off from work to attempt to become a successful novelist, yet he had never published a single thing -- not a short story, not a poem, not even a newspaper article -- in his entire life? What the hell?!

-- What exactly was Ralphie's job before this year-long writing hiatus, anyway? Did he do something writing adjacent, at least?!

-- Did Ralphie's wife work too, so they at least had some supplemental income?

-- I mean, you couldn't score a syndication deal in the '70s after publishing a single solitary newspaper column in a smalltown newspaper, right? Right?!

There were two parts of this movie that made me smile: Ralphie and his mom treating Christmas carolers like a walking plague, and the idea that a bartender's primary job is to lie to housewives and tell them that their husbands aren't there drinking. An arguably overplotted movie jammed front to back with callbacks, A Christmas Story Christmas could have used more original little asides like those.

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