A man named Ralphie narrates a time from his childhood many years ago, when he was 9 years old. He is preparing for Christmas and wants a BB-gun, but is constantly told, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Yet, Ralphie remains determined.
This film was a pretty difficult watch. Not only is it because it’s about a kid who wants a weapon, which wouldn’t be acceptable today, but also that the characters are too unlikable and stereotypical.
It wasn’t until after I watched it that the unbelievable characters were done on purpose. It turns out that Ralphie’s memories were exaggerated. However, that doesn’t make it more enjoyable for me.
For instance, Ralphie says a four-letter word when he makes a mistake as he and his dad are getting a Christmas tree. He gets in an extreme amount of trouble for that. On the other hand, when the pure-evil bullies taunted him, he beats one of them to the point that the other boy bled. And he seemed to be praised for that.
Another moment that bugged me was when the mall was closing, the elf people and Santa scared the kids who came up to him. Yet the line didn’t shorten, no one complained, or tried to report the people in elf and Santa costumes to authorities.
I don’t know if that would have happened in the 1940’s, when the film is set. But the children should’ve left, horrified—at the very least.
There is also a scene where Ralphie’s little brother, Randy, is forced to wear a coat so big on him that he can’t walk smoothly and bumps into things. People found that funny, but I found that cruel.
Regardless of the flaws, there are some good moments in this movie. As Ralphie and his family were leaving the mall, four people in “Wizard of Oz” outfits did their “We’re off to see the wizard” dance behind them.
When Ralphie’s teacher warns him about getting a BB Gun for Christmas because he’ll shoot his eye out, he envisions her as the wicked witch of the west from “The Wizard of Oz.” She says the same sentence everyone says when he states the item he wants for Christmas: “You’ll shoot your eye out,” followed the witch’s cackle.
There is also a parade with Snow White and Mickey Mouse. And despite the other characters lacking appeal to me, Ralphie was developed well and was, perhaps, the most believable and relatable person.
I rate “A Christmas Story” 3 out of 5 stars. If a movie is supposed to exaggerate their characters and not make them 100 percent accurate to a person’s memory, they should state that before the opening scene. No one should have to rely on outside material to watch or read anything.