Based on the childhood memoirs of radio humorist Jean Shepherd about growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s, A Christmas Story is as heartwarming and nostalgic as its title suggests. Like many Christmas-themed movies, it offers no insight into the true meaning of Christmas, but it brims with insight into the human condition — particularly the condition of boys at Christmastime.
The tale shows us Christmas through the eyes of Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), whose consuming desire is for "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200 shot range-model air rifle." To this end he brings to bear all the intellectual prowess of a nine-year old with one scheme after another to ensure that he will find one under the Christmas tree. Yet at every turn he meets the classic adult dismissal: "You’ll shoot your eye out."
With much affectionate humor, A Christmas Story recalls vividly what it was like to be a kid at Christmas in a more innocent era, when boys were liable to get their mouths washed out with soap for cussing (though their fathers often did so profusely). A minor holiday classic.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.