Like everyone else on the planet, when I heard about this movie, I was unfazed. A sequel to a five-star classic like A Christmas Story didn't sound the slightest bit passable to me, and the fact that it went strait-to-DVD didn't raise my expectations either. But then, on Christmas Eve 2012, I thought I'd give it a try, and my parents agreed. So, with very low expectations, we all sat down and watched it. And, surprisingly, it actually turned out to be a very funny and heartwarming movie. I mean, it certainly can't live up to the near-flawless first film, but my mom, my sister, and I all found it to be very good (my dad, however, was non-plussed). Braeden Lemasters was a very good teenage replacement for Peter Billingsley, and Daniel Stern was memorable and funny as The Old Man. Stacey Travis's performance as Ralphie's mother was not as good, but she still captured the sweetness and warmth of the original character. David W. Thompson and David Buehrle were very odd as Flick and Schwartz, respectively, as they look almost nothing like the original actors, but they still gave good performances, and they have some good chemistry with Lemasters as Ralphie's loyal friends. And Tiera Skovbye was cute and funny as, ahem, Drucilla Gootrad, the love interest, even if she only appears for a few seconds. The humor was funny and memorable, most of which pays homage to the first film, like having Flick get his tongue stuck in a suction pipe and Ralphie slowly uttering "Oh fudge!" when he accidentally destroys a car. The slapstick was also very zany and fun, even if it was a little distracting at times. Ralphie's new teenage motives felt very realistic and relatable, like going after girls and wanting a new car, but he still retained the same general tone that the character had in the first film. I also thought the director did a very good job of setting the film in the 40s, with some very nostalgic old cars and buildings and realistic behavior for the time (like kids wrapping their schoolbooks in their belt). Plus, there's a girl character named Drucilla Gootrad. You can't get much more 40s than that.
Ultimately, this movie isn't as good as the original Christmas Story, but it has enough clever humor and positive messages to be a good movie in its own right.