This is the trailer for A Christmas Story 2, the “Official” sequel to the 1983 feel-good-but-also-a-little-sad movie that TBS plays on a 24-hour constant loop every year before Christmas. The one with the leg lamp? The BB gun? The tongue on the flag pole? The slightly racist Chinese restaurant scene? RALPHIE??
The original is a perfect nostalgic construction. At its core is a time-shifted tour of a bygone America — it takes place, by most accounts, just before World War II — guided by a self-consciously hokey narrator. It can pull nearly anyone into a wistful haze: the eldery, for whom it evokes actual childhood; the middle aged, whose lens the film was shot through; and the young, who associate it with lazy, anxious pre-Christmas mornings in front of the TV.
Anyway, the sequel looks like a straight-to-video tribute, basically. Same characters, same style, same tone. It is, judging by the trailer, the least offensive movie imaginable. And yet:
I’ll grant that the movie doesn’t look particularly good, but it’s about as uncynical as a sequel can be. It looks faithful to the original almost to a fault. It follows a similar plot. It’s not a hideous self-contradictory cash-in like The Lorax, and Justin Bieber isn’t in it. It looks more like a fan film or a homage than a sequel. It’s not even going to take up a screen at the multiplex.
This kind of reaction happens all the time — George Lucas destroyed my childhood!!! — but this has to be one of the purest, least rational examples of how overbearing and suffocating a certain type of nostalgia can be. This movie doesn’t change anything about the original; it doesn’t even have the same actors. (There was already a sequel in 1994, called It Runs In The Family. Did you know that? Did that fact just MURDER your YOUTH??)
Also, hey: The Phantom Menace didn’t ruin The Empire Strikes Back! Nothing was altered about the original! You can still rent it and watch it and enjoy it! Plus, a A Christmas Story 2 doesn’t even have that kind of stature in the Christmas Story fictional universe, if there is such a thing — complaining about this trailer is like whining about how one of the hundreds of Star Wars novels ruined A New Hope. Or about how Fifty Shades of Grey ruined Twilight.
This intense and apparently involuntary auto-hatred is a strange, silly impulse. Fight it! It’s embarrassing! It makes me nostalgic for a time before the internet existed. Nothing bad has happened to you.
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- marie587 thinks The Subtle Tyranny Of Nostalgia is WTF
- Beezus S. Burroughs thinks The Subtle Tyranny Of Nostalgia is Fail
John, you are correct in saying that A Christmas Story 2 does not ruin A Christmas Story just as Phantom Menace should not affect Empire Strikes Back. But you’re wrong to say that people are being “insane” when they down-vote this trailer. Let’s be honest. It looks just awful. It’s a mercenary, soulless, and utterly crass attempt to exploit a film that people genuinely love. With both Jean Shepherd and Bob Clark gone, there can be no true sequel to A Christmas Story. That’s a major difference from the Star Wars saga. Besides, there are good sequels, and it occasionally does pay to remake or revisit old material. There are right ways and wrong ways to do it. Based on this trailer (which may not be a good indication, I’ll admit), A Christmas Story 2 seems to get it very wrong. The jokes appear much more sitcom-like and less natural than those in the original, and there’s more to making a sequel than just filling in a series of boxes on a checklist of obligatory ingredients.
- rhadams thinks The Subtle Tyranny Of Nostalgia is Fail
- Mozart The Cat thinks The Subtle Tyranny Of Nostalgia is Ew
- aabgar thinks The Subtle Tyranny Of Nostalgia is LOL