A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Christmas Story 2 is the sequel to the classic 1983 period comedy, A Christmas Story. The language is fairly strong for a family film -- several instances of "son of a bitch," for example, and deals more with adolescent attraction (Ralphie is smitten with the prettiest girl in his class) than the original. Otherwise there's the standard physical comedy and silly jokes that will make kids laugh aloud. Like with the first Christmas Story, the overarching message is that no matter what you get, the important thing about the holidays is spending them with family.
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What's the story?
This sequel to A Christmas Story follows an older (but still bespectacled) Ralphie Parker (Braeden Lemasters), who's now nearly 16 years old and wants something a lot more sophisticated than a Red Ryder BB gun; he wants a used car the local auto dealer has brought back to its original beauty. He also wants his class' prettiest and most popular girl Drucilla Gootrad (Tiera Skovbye) to fall for him. After he accidentally crashes the car, Ralphie and his two best friends take low-paying jobs at a local department store. Back home, Old Man Parker (Daniel Stern) is still battling his appliances and mom is still bundling little brother for the snow.
Is it any good?
Although A Christmas Story is a holiday classic that families can and should enjoy watching together every December, the same cannot be said for this direct-to-DVD sequel. This movie is neither necessary nor nearly as humorous as the original. Yes, the filmmakers did find an actor who could believably be the older version of Peter Billingsley's apple-cheeked, pale-blond Ralphie, and Stern is a passable Old Man.
But, a teenager drooling over a car (and a girl) is not nearly as interesting as 9-year-old Raphie's obsession with the possibility of a BB gun, and a high schooler getting his tongue stuck in suction pipe isn't quite as hilarious (it's more just gross) than a little boy making good on the double-dog-dare of all dares. There are a couple of laughs, but ultimately this is a far inferior follow up to the timeless original.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between Ralphie and his dad. Is "The Old Man" as cranky in this as he was in the first Christmas Story?
How does the sequel compare to the original? Do you think it's as funny as the first Christmas Story?
How has Ralphie's Christmas wish matured since he wanted his Red Ryder BB gun?
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