My Summer Story
Title: My Summer Story
Original title: It Runs in the Family
Release year: 1994
Country: United States
Genres: Comedy, Family
Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Charles Grodin, Kieran Culkin, Mary Steenburgen
Rating: 3/5

In this sequel to A Christmas Story (1983), it is now summer in the Parker family and the usual number of events is happening in their separate lives.

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3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
Very good0%

Summer Antics and Bumpus Blues: A Review of My Summer Story (1994)


Sequels often struggle to recapture the magic of the original, and “My Summer Story,” the second follow-up to the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” is no exception. While it lacks the sheer quotability and iconic status of its predecessor, it’s a pleasant, nostalgic trip back into the Parker family’s world, with enough laughs and heartwarming moments to make it a worthwhile journey.

The film swaps snowdrifts for sunshine, trading Christmas cheer for summertime squabbles. While Ralphie (the ever-adorable Kieran Culkin) hunts for the ultimate top to vanquish bully Scut Farkus, the Old Man (a delightfully grumpy Charles Grodin) wages war against the Bumpuses, a neighboring family whose hillbilly antics escalate with each passing scene. Meanwhile, Mrs. Parker (Mary Steenburgen, radiating sitcom-mom energy) embarks on a mission to complete a glass china collection through a series of increasingly absurd movie theater promotions.

“My Summer Story” doesn’t have a singular, tightly woven plot; it’s more a collection of loosely connected vignettes, each capturing the essence of small-town summertime. We see the joy of bike rides, the sting of disappointment, the awkwardness of first crushes, and the enduring love between a father and son, all coated in a thick layer of quirky humor.

The laughs come courtesy of Grodin’s masterful delivery of insult-laden dialogue, the Bumpuses’ escalating ridiculousness, and the sheer absurdity of some situations (a pie-eating contest gone wrong, anyone?). It’s a brand of humor that’s silly, slapstick, and undeniably charming, even if it occasionally veers into groan-worthy territory.

But beneath the silliness lies a genuine warmth. The Parker family’s dynamic remains endearing, their bickering laced with affection. We see Ralphie’s vulnerability and the Old Man’s gruff exterior softening with tenderness. It’s a reminder that even amidst summer squabbles and Bumpus-induced chaos, love prevails.

“My Summer Story” might not reach the heights of “A Christmas Story,” but it’s a welcome return to a beloved world. It’s a film that embraces the simple pleasures of summertime, reminding us of the joy of family, the thrill of conquering a nemesis (with a top, no less!), and the laughter that erupts even when life throws pies in your face. So, if you’re looking for a lighthearted, nostalgic trip down memory lane, grab a glass of milk and a plate of cookies, and settle in for some summertime Parker shenanigans.

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Al Mancini,Anne Finnerty,Anne Sayre,Annie Kitral,Anthony Kiener,Antonia Rey,Ariel Clark,Bernard Canepari,Bill Piper,Brad Hoss,Cassie Fichter,Charles Grodin,Chris Owen,Christian Culkin,Christopher Chen,Cindi Verbelun,Dale Young,Darwyn Swalve,David Zahorsky,Dick O'Neill,Dorothy Silver,Doug Hufnagle,Frank Collison,Geoffrey Wigdor,Glenn Shadix,Gregory Adams,Ida Lee,Jack Ong,Jean Shepherd,Jimmy James Garrison,John Voldstad,Jonathan Goch,Karin Boesler,Ken West,Kieran Culkin,Krystal LaFontaine,Larry Ramey,Marilyn Pitzer,Mary Steenburgen,Michael Mott,Michael Stover,Richard Fike,Robert Dickman,Roy Brocksmith,Scott Thomson,T.J. McInturff,Tedde Moore,Troy Evans,Wayne Grace,Whit Hertford,William Preston