A Christmas Story centers around the story of a young boy looking to convince anyone and everyone that the best Christmas gift for him would be the Red Ryder BB gun, including his parents, Santa, and his teacher at school. As Christmas looms closer, he experiences all sorts of mishaps that would befall a kid in the 1980s, and we are swept along in the comedy and merriment of it all.
As a first time watcher of this classic movie, I feel like I have a more unique perspective, especially on some things that a young child watching this movie may not have picked up on. First, the subtle (and maybe not so subtle) sexism of the time period, shown in the “dictator father” and “housekeeping mother” stereotypes. Also, it was a terrible influence on children to regard a gun so highly! This influence probably gave many kids the idea that having a gun for themselves is a good idea and made them want one. However, despite its flaws, the movie was funny, heartwarming, silly, and a fun watch.
I really enjoyed that the movie was from Ralphie’s perspective, and that we got to hear his inner thoughts and daydreams. I think that there are not many movies today that are in this style, and it made for a very interesting and entertaining watch. When Ralphie imagined something as much more exaggerated than it was, like him being blind and his parents crying that they were sorry, it was a very realistic dream that a kid might have. And the fact that he thought his writing and ideas were amazing was also a funny addition that is certainly a trait all kids have. To hear everything from his perspective appealed to both a child, who could relate to his problems, as well as to an adult, who could laugh at the embellishment of it all.
The story was also humorous, in some ways that it was supposed to be, and some just because the time period was so different. It was intriguing to watch a movie from almost 40 years ago, as so much of what they considered normal would be so strange now. One example is that the children’s lifestyles were so different from what it is like today. The kids went places by themselves, even the little brother, and the teachers and parents let them roam around and play at such a young age. But it was also humorous because of the silly things that kids do, like dare each other to lick a cold lamppost, and believe very much in the power of Santa.
Also, just as a side note, I did not realize until watching this movie where that iconic leg lamp was from! I have seen it before, and I never knew its origins. I loved how much the dad loved the lamp, even though it was so ugly, and that Ralphie kept caressing it when they first received it.
Despite its flaws, I think this was a wonderful movie and a delightful story, that can be shared with a loved one or the whole family. Enjoy your holiday season!