Friday, December 24, 2010

Tell Us A Story

I recently watched A Christmas Story for the first time since it opened.  It was pretty much as I remembered, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

The movie has become a classic, I suppose, but it has some pretty glaring weaknesses.  First, far too much of the comedy is carried by Jean Shepherd's mannered narration, where he explains what's going on rather than the movie showing it.  Second, there's an annoying score, way too busy and not that well done.  Third, the various fantasy sequences don't add much.  Fourth, as might be expected from the director of Porky's, much of the humor is fairly crude slapstick.

I could go on, but it's the holiday season, so let's be charitable.  The movie does capture a feeling of what it's like to be a kid.  And it does have some decent gags--the decoder pin, the F-word.  Then there's the desire for a BB gun, which could have been just a gag, but amounts to the main plot, and has a great payoff.

So my feeling is the same as when I first saw it--I could do without many of the parts, but I like the sum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Christmas Story works much better as a short story (but would be known by about 99.9 % fewer people if it were)- Thats why they tried to stick with the narration (which I like if only it reminds me that this is a better read than a film)

6:36 AM, December 24, 2010  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I only likethe parts, the whole I've never been able to take. I've never sat down for a beginning to end of this film. When I catch it on TV (virtually inevitable this time of year), I watch the bit I like, and then switch channels. It's sort of like Saturnday Night Live reruns.

8:59 AM, December 27, 2010  

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