Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Long live Ralphie!

After my Home Alone viewing, I was concerned I wasn’t cut out to enjoy Christmas movies.  But I said I would watch several on Terri’s list, so I gathered the family for TTTFFN last night and popped in the DVD of A Christmas Story.  I had my notepad at the ready and was eager to jot down my thoughts so I’d remember them for today; I only wrote down one thing before I realized I was actually enjoying the show.

For what it’s worth, this was my only note:  Sean instantly liked it, thanks to the period-perfect cars.  His positive attitude took a nose-dive when, in the very next scene, the dad complained about his Oldsmobile.

Disregarding that slight, we all found ourselves immersed in the movie.  I had no idea the, “You’re gonna shoot your eye out,” line came from there.  And the leg lamp?  I’ve seen those but just thought really quirky people owned them.  Never knew it came from the movie.  I assume it came from the movie…

I loved the mom, who cared enough about her boys to dress them so warmly little Randy couldn’t put his arms down.  I loved she tasted the soap.  I loved that she didn’t make fun of her husband when he mispronounced, “Fragile.”  I loved the way at dinner she glossed over Ralph beating up Scut, never mentioning the swear words Ralph let fly.  (This bothered Rebecca: “She’s keeping secrets from her husband!”  I assured her she’d tell him later.)  And I am choosing to believe she knocked the lamp over by accident.  

I adored Ralph.  His dreams were fabulous! I loved the way he wanted to protect his family with his, “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time,” from the robbers in the back yard.  I loved that he finally took out Scut.  And I liked the relationship Ralph had with his little brother.  They were unkind in a brotherly way (fighting who could get up the stairs first) but Ralph never left his little brother in the snow when he’d fallen and couldn’t get up.

But my favorite character was Ralph’s Dad.  Oh my stars what a guy.  His excitement over that leg lamp just about did me in.  It was a major award, don’t you know?  The way he passionately fought with the furnace and the way he made a game of how fast he could change a tire – if that movie were made today we’d hear all the swear words and see an angry dad.  I was thankful the cuss words were just a bunch of garbled sound, and even more thankful the dad had a sense of humor, albeit a tad twisted.

And as much as I enjoyed the movie I was petrified that boy wouldn’t get his gun.  Absolutely certain he’d wake up on Christmas morning and be disappointed.  When the mom, dad and Ralph were sitting on the couch after all the presents were opened and the dad asked, “Did you get everything you wanted?” I thought my heart would sink.  (I’m telling you, I was completely into the movie at this point.)  Little Ralphie said, “Almost,” with sadness but not an ounce of meanness was directed towards his parents.  Y’all I am tearing up just remembering the day saying, “I think there’s one more by the desk.”  When Ralph opened that gun I burst into tears and the kids thought I’d lost my mind. 

Put a gold star by A Christmas Story!  I realize everyone in the universe has already seen it, but see it again!  The last scene with the family at the Chinese restaurant, making lemonade out of lemons, is priceless.    

So, thanks, Terri, for that recommendation.  I’m happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.