On Christmas Eve, Twitter was on fire as a heated debate about the best holiday movie sparked numerous back and forth responses up and down my timeline. The argument pitted “Home Alone” versus “A Christmas Story.” Ironically, the argument erupted before the annual “A Christmas Story” television marathon began.
There is no competition! Both movies are great in their own right, but “A Christmas Story” is the best holiday movie because it covers everything that is present during the holiday season from anxieties to obstacles, but mainly Ralphie’s quirky family, to which all can relate. Below are some highlights:
-The scene when Ralphie’s brother puts on that star fish onesie and he complains that he cannot put his arms down makes me squeal and giggle uncontrollably like young fans at a Bieber concert because my younger brother had a similar constricting winter get-up.
-The scene when Ralphie cursed and uttered the “Queen mother of dirty words,” and the subsequent soap in the mouth scene makes me tremble because my mother washed my mouth out with soap. *shudders at memory*
-I do not condone Ralphie saying that he heard the curse word from his friend, who then receives the most unexpected beating of his life. This might be the only time I disagree with Ralphie, but truthfully I would have done the same had my mother pressured me to confess where I heard that language. I wish I could say like that early 90’s drug commercial (please remember this commercial about the father who finds his son smoking marijuana and asks him where he learned to do “this,” shoving the stash in his face), “I learned it from you” but such a response would have resulted in the near ending of my life.
-Ralphie’s desire for the Red Ryder BB gun is palpable. I definitely felt that way about a gift when I was younger.
-The memorable line, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
-The “triple dog dare” licking the pole scene reminded me of the playground and the fear those three words put in one’s heart. The funniest part is when all the kids leave the unfortunate pole licker stuck to the pole when the bell rings because they do not want to get in trouble after recess.
-Drinking Ovaltine; sadly, Ralphie earned the secret society decoder and the message was nothing more than an Ovaltine advertisement.
-The best “stand-up-for-yourself-and-others-and-pummel-the-neighborhood-bully” fight scene, in which Ralphie lets the bully have it…all of it. I need to rewatch that scene to see how many punches he connected and to count how many times he bounces the bully’s head off the snow covered ground.
-When he called the Peking duck “Chinese turkey” illustrates the humor that we find in difference. That line would not make it pass the cutting floor due to a severe lack of political correctness and a large amount of racial/ethnic insensitivity.
-The weird Easter bunny suit from Aunt Clara, which is thinly veiled reference to Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”…I just got the allusion as I typed the sentence.
-Ralphie’s day dreams that his teacher was an evil character resonates with me.
-The sexy fish-net wearing leg lamp that his father won as a prize and his mother destroys one evening out of desperation and embarrassment leads to a cold-war between his parents. I have definitely been in that situation, sans sexy fish-net wearing leg lamp.
-Santa giving Ralphie the wrestler-esque boot to the face as he recites the iconic line as a way to dissuade Ralphie from the BB gun is so funny because one never imagines Santa to be so malevolent and rude.
In 2009 Moviefone/AOL ranked the top 25 Christmas movies (special shout out to Charlie Brown Christmas special, but TV specials were not eligible). “Home Alone” came in a respectable #8. Meanwhile, “A Christmas Story” kingly sits atop the rankings, holding the sceptered #1 position!