‘A Christmas Story’ offers nontraditional storyline on way to classic status

A Christmas Story offers nontraditional storyline on way to classic status

Ashley Tanner

A Christmas Story, the not so traditional tale of a young boys’ hopes and dreams of Christmas. The movie follows the life of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker and his life surrounding during the holiday season.
A Christmas Story may not be the average ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ Christmas movie, it also doesn’t it move the viewers to tears, but it captures the reality of Christmas. No family is perfect, and it’s the thought that counts.
Peter Billingsley does a fabulous job of capturing Ralphie. The way he brings a nine-year-old boy from the 60s to life is flawless. From the desperation to get his hands on the prized rifle, to chowing down soap after cursing, it seems so realistic.
One of my favorite components of A Christmas Story is the narration (Jean Shepherd) of an older Ralphie. His raspy yet soothing voice added a bit of wit and edge to the film that most movies don’t have. Hearing Ralphies older self put the movie in a whole new perspective because he is more mature, but at the same time he is trying to justify his strange actions. It was hilarious to hear his voice telling the story, adding verbal embellishments and overdramatic explanations.
The key to any functioning family is the parents, and for the Parker family, that presents a challenge. Mrs. Parker is over protective and dramatic, throughout the movie I was dumbfounded by her overreactions and began to think, “Oh my gosh, really?” But rather than that being a negative, its actually quite hilarious. She portrays the kind of mother most people don’t want, overprotective and quite frankly nuts. Melinda Dillon played the Mrs. Parker to a “t”. From when she overcompensated for the cold winter by bundling Randy (Ian Petrella) so much that he could hardly walk to her overreaction to how “cute” Ralphie looked in his bunny costume, Dillon played the part.
The father of the house plays an equally important role as the overly emotional mother, Darren McGavin had to compensate . Mr. Parker has his set of quirks too such as becoming obsessed with an “Italian” leg lamp. His obsession has created a trademark for the movie that brings a smile to my face just at the thought of “the lamp.” Mr. Parker is an interesting character that is the match made in heaven for Mrs. Parker. As much as I would like to dislike him for his outbursts of anger and in general cocky idiocy, I can’t. He is essential to the plot for so many reasons and I find myself liking him against all odds.
From beginning to end, A Christmas Story kept me laughing and in the Christmas spirit. It’s not cheesy and predictable but full of relatable and everyday humor for all ages. I highly suggest adding A Christmas Story to your Christmas movie list this year!
This the the fourth installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them. Check out the other movies of Christmas here! 
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMJJNdO36MA”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By Ashley Tanner