Date released: 1983

The gist: Set in the 40s, Christmas is approaching and Ralphie really wants a Red Ryder B.B. Gun, but has to convince his parents that giving it to his a really good idea. Naturally anything and everything gets in his way as he plots and schemes to get the ultimate gift.

Why I Grinch-ed out and avoided it: Maybe it was visions of that awful leg lamp, but mostly it didn’t really fit in with the Christmas movies present in my house during my childhood (White Christmas, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, etc.).

Merry mistakes: I really just found this movie… weird, which I’m sure is totally the point. Everything from the narration, to the characters (looking at you kid brother Randy), to some of the plot points are just bizarre and not as funny as I’d hoped. 

Magical moments:

  • Watching Ralphie’s mom try to put a snowsuit on his younger brother Randy. Poor kid.
  • When that kid Flick gets his tongue stuck to the pole in the dead of winter and his friends just bail on him to go back to class. Mostly that’s hilarious because I’m pretty sure everyone knew that one kid that just had to see if that really happens. Spoiler: it does.

Happy holiday or ho-ho-horrible? I can see how this has become a cult classic, but perhaps just not for me. It’s definitely got its fair share of quirkiness (something I normally really dig), but I think I’ve spent too many years replaying White Christmas 15 times before the 24th that I’m biased against anything that doesn’t have several musical numbers and it just doesn’t feel Christmassy enough for me.


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