|Title:||My Summer Story|
|08.16.06||Netflix|| So... A Christmas Story is pretty much a seasonal classic in my family, as with many others I'm sure... Around mid 90s I heard there was another movie made from the same author except this time it was summer... and Ralphie was grown up a bit and it dealt with a family vacation. It was like a TV movie on the Disney channel called Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss and Jerry O'Connell played Ralph. Jean Shepherd still did the narration and everything... it was just different. So I don't know how I knew about that mediocre TV movie sequel and not this official Bob Clark-directed feature mediocre sequel... but for whatever reason I'd never heard of this until Clark mentioned it in his Christmas Story commentary.|
I'd compare this to Ollie Hopnoodle's more because it lacks that certain whatever it is that makes A Christmas Story a classic... but it is odd to see this movie with the same music and house and town and characters the same age with different actors. It feels much weirder than the TV movie... Things just aren't right! Charles Grodin isn't the dad, Darren McGavin's the dad! This isn't right! Who are those people!? That is not their beautiful house! Mary Steenburgen is not your beautiful wife! Melinda Dillon is!
After about half the movie though, I kinda let it go and tried to enjoy it as its own thing. The only replacement that I really couldn't get over, aside from Kieran Culkin obviously trying to play Peter Billingly instead of Ralph Parker, was Grodin. I just didn't like his take on the dad... His grumbling wasn't funny, i just couldn't hear what he was saying. I didn't get the cold grudging respect vibe at all from him... he just sounded like he was doing a walter matthau impression with marbles in his mouth or something.
It also looks like it was shot in LA. The light and like... the stuff with the cars and the fair they go to looks totally backstage to me... like they could only afford a weekend's worth of exterior shots at the original locations...
ANYWAY, a few of the stories in here are pretty good. I liked the top stuff... others kind of fell short though and without a central theme of Christmas to hold it all together it seemed kind of aimless... but I have to say I'm glad I saw this though... it's kind of a glimpse through a bizarro-world window into some alternate universe that's just enjoyable instead of timeless.