"12 Days of Christmas Movies" lumbers towards it's conclusion. We've gone through 10/12 so far and each one of them is a great movie. Except for you, "Jingle all the Way", take a step back. Day 11's movie is another one that establishes the legitimacy of this entire list with it's existence. I also want to point out that it is totally still December 2010 and in no way have I gone back in time to write this on January 10th, 2011. How could I do this series without including a Christmas movie juggernaut from the early 80s? Ladies, Gentlemen and the fine people of Denmark, The movie of day 11 is so awesome it'll jump off the screen and take your eye out.
A Christmas Story
The Plot according to j.Bowman:
"If this kid doesn't get a gun for Christmas, he will hate his parents forever". How that wasn't the tagline for this movie, I'll never know. If you don't like "A Christmas Story", maybe you haven't seen it enough times? It, along with Christmas Vacation are the cornerstones of every Christmas network TV schedule. Both those movies have gotten the grandest prestige that can be awarded to a Christmas Movie: The "24 Hours of ____" block on Christmas day. They just keep showing those movies over....and over...and over again and you know what? I'd be lying if I said I didn't watch them at multiple times during such an event. Presents can wait dammit, Ralphie's about to beat the shit out of Scut Farkus (I'll get to him, don't worry). Interesting side note, this year "Scrooged" got the 24 hours treatment on AMC. Hell yeah it did! But the first one I remember it happening to is this beauty from 1983.
This will be the shortest entry on this list, because most people probably know what the plot is and not even my overly complicated interpretation would add anything to it. Peter Billingsly plays Ralphie, and all Ralphie wants for Christmas is a "Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!". Small child wants a gun for Christmas more than anything in the world? Yep, nothing wrong with that. Every person in the universe who isn't his friend or his brother point out that he will "shoot his eye out." He keeps having fantasies of having that gun and taking out robbers, while dressed as Elton John Wayne for some reason:
His Mom and his Old Man are opposed to the idea from the start. His brother Randy is too awesome to be involved in any other plotline really. I'm going to spoil this for you right now because I think he is soooooo great, Randy will be getting the game ball for this movie.
Ralphie writes a school report about how much better his life would be if he had that BB Gun. He eventually gets a C+ on it, which devestates him. He even saved his teacher from the robbers during a fantasy sequence. Had he know he was getting a C+, he probably just would have let them have their way with her.
I also want to point out that the school the kids went to was Warren G Harding Elementary school. Yes, you read that right. Warren G Elementary! Rugulate!
I was going to do a little research and find out who Warren G. Harding was, but then I realized a)I don't give a shit. 2) I want to keep living my life thinking the movie exists in a world where Warren G has access to a time machine and uses it to do stuff awesome enough to warrant naming a school after him. Remember when Warren G defeaeted the Nazi's? No? You will.
It happens just that suddenly. Scut Farkus, neighborhood bully and yellow eyed "ginger psychopath" appears and terrorizes the kids. This kid is a villain in every sense of the word. He constantly patrols the alley the kids have to walk through to get to and from school and at no point does anybody ask why he isn't in school. Based on all his appearences in the movie, Scut Farkus LIVES in that alley. I imagine him just sitting there, waiting for a maroon marshmellow and his 3 sidekicks to try and walk by and then...he's going to chase them. He's like a dog.
At one point, Ralphie snaps and beats the shit out of Scut Farkus. Up until Nedry got eaten in Jurassic Park, this was the GREATEST moment ever captured on film. Sorry Roy Scheider in Jaws, you are now in 3rd place as of
Ralphies mom catches him beating Scut Farkus to a pulp, and she waits for his dad to get home. Dad is probably gonna go "Farkus" on him, and Randy, the best character in the history of anything, decides to hide from the forthcoming nuclear blast of child abuse by hiding in the cupboard under the sink. He just sits there, and it's amazing.
Ralphie's mom decides to keep what happened a secret. Now she has something to hold over Ralphie's head for the rest of his life. I'd have much rather taken the beating. Any man who has taste this amazing in home decor probably can't dole out a decent smackdown. His favorite thing is this incredible lamp.
The movie is just a bunch of great scenes just kind of strung together and moved forward by the basic plot point of this kid wanting this gun. Things just happen for well, not "no reason" but whenever Ralphie daydreams good things happen. Like when he drops an F-Bomb in front of his dad and as a result this happens.
Or the fact that Christmas morning rolls around and instead of getting his beloved gun, he gets this outfit from one of his aunts or something. His father said it best: "He looks like a pink nightmare".
But it turns out that Ralphie's parents pull a swerve on him and they get him his coveted gun. He takes it outside immediately, fires it, and the BB ricochets around and hits him in the eye. Well, the glasses. But if Ralphie had 20/20 vision everyones horrifying prediction that he would be a cyclops by the end of the movie would've come true and I doubt this would be regarded as the beloved Christmas classic it is.
What solidifies it's status as a Christmas movie?Features a scene where Santa is...a bit of an asshole.
Key Christmas MomentI got 9 words for ya! "Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra,-ra-ra"
Key Christmas QuoteAdult Ralphie:[narrating] Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots
Favorite non-Christmas QuoteAdult Ralphie: [narrating] In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.
Xmas Game Ball Goes To.....We've already established this several times. Take a bow, Randy!
Most Hated Character?Scut Farkus. Here he is all grown up and just daring you to come into his alley.
The Movie Wouldn't Have Happened If....Ralphie's mother would have told his dad about all the ass-kicking and swearing he did.
There you have it, Day 11: DONE! Anyone who knows how to count knows the situation we are in now. If you don't know how to count, hopefully you know how to read: One more to go! One more to go! We can do this!
The List so Far:Day 10: Christmas Vacation
Day 11: A Christmas Story
Thanks for Reading