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It Runs in the Family
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Reviews & Ratings for
It Runs in the Family More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Much better than I remembered.

8/10
Author: behemuthm from Los Angeles, CA
3 January 2002

This film was excellent! While some may argue that it is not up to par with "A Christmas Story" it is definately a good and faithful sequel. Unfortunately none of the same cast (probably because all the child actors were now too old) but still great acting all around. The story is awesome, and the narration classic! One to definately check out. 8/10.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as Chrismas Story but entertaining enough.

7/10
Author: davidkelly1977 from New Orleans, Louisiana
14 March 2004

I am a huge fan of A Christmas Story and was unaware that Bob Clarke had filmed more of Jean Shepherds work until I listened to the commentary track on the Christmas Story DVD. I had read peoples comments here and been a little concerned by its 5/10 score. I still wanted to see it for myself so I picked up a copy on VHS for £1.00. With all our VCRs now replaced with DVD players we only have one VCR in the house so I didnt get to watch this til after midnight one Sunday night. Whilst not brilliant and no where near as good as Christmas Story (but I guess thats because this isnt about Christmas!) I found this film to be a very delightful piece of light-hearted entertainment. Yes the choice of actors dont seem to be as memorable but thats probably because Ive watched Christmas Story hundreds of times. Dont expect any huge moments, but this is a perfect lazy day nostalgic movie. The adults will probably enjoy it more than the kids though.

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Move over Scott Farkus, there's a new foe in town. (spoilers)

Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
29 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Of the two sequels to "A Christmas Story," (the other being Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss released in 1987), It Runs in the Family (aka My Summer Story) is the better one.

Kieran Culkin portrays second-grader Ralphie Parker. Though Parker was supposed to be 14 years-old in the second movie, the writers might've felt it to be more entertaining to once again write a story from a young kid's perspective. Not only is it something younger children can relate to, but they don't have to stick to such strict guidelines of reality, allowing room to delve into fanatasies and imaginations of our narrating protagonist, Ralphie.

That is what made the first movie so enjoyable, this kid getting all psyched out about Christmas and dreaming about his Red Ryder BB gun. Then, he'd have his little day dreams about how his mom got together and plotted to give him a bad grade on his essay about the gun, marking it with large letters that "he'd shoot his eye out." Or how, when his parents often rebuffed his requests for the Christmas present, he daydreamed how he was blind and returns home and his parents grieve about how they should've been nicer to him. There's a bit of that going on here, and makes it a better comedy.

So, little Ralphie Parker is engaged in a battle with a new foe, Lug Ditka, who challenges Ralphie to a tops war. The tops battles are apparently symbolic of strength and more appropriate in a family film than physically fighting. While Ralphie's classmates have failed to beat Lug, the reigning champion, Ralphie is going to prove is worth. And the feat becomes very intimidating.

The movie is pretty much a string of subplots, one not really dominating the other. Meanwhile, we have three other subplots. The funniest and most interesting one involves Ralphie's mother (Mary Steenburgen) and the other local Indiana housewives going to this theater each week, lured by a salesman's promise of getting a full set of autographed celebrity dinnerware. Each week, they return with the same gravy boat. The funny part is seeing Ralphie's mother getting annoyed when her husband asks her the stupid question of where all the other celebrity autographed plates were when he was standing in a kitchen full of gravy boats. Like a scene from Citizen Kane, the women eventually get together and stage a revolt.

The other subplot involves Ralphie's father (aka The Old Man) and greater insight to their boorish hick neighbors, the Bumpus's. Recall in the first movie, it was their dogs who often stormed the Parkers kitchen and spoiled the Christmas turkey. Once again, there is a feud between Old Man Parker and the Bumpus's concerning a territorial dispute.

And, yet another subplot concerns Ralphie and his dad, and their skilled fishing expedition. As you'll notice, there's not much going on with Randy Parker (played by Kieran's brother, Christian).

It turned out to be a better family comedy than Ollie Hopnoodle's, and one that fans of "A Christmas Story," would probably enjoy.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A funny movie

Author: Bun-Bun from San Francisco, California, USA
20 August 2002

A funny movie, while not as good as A Christmas Story, it has it's own silly feel and manages to stay in the same mold as its predecessor. So if you liked A Christmas Story, you'll probably enjoy this one as well, even if you've watched A Christmas Story your entire life :)

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The last scene is great

Author: heckles from St. Albans, VT
20 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Spoilers) No matter what you think about the rest of the movie, the last scene was a real gem. The camera pans on mother Mary Steenburgen, listening with a smile on the house steps as her husband's pals trade vulgar stories with Ralphie in attendance. Her boy's been admitted to the man's club! Then she jumps up with a yelp and runs to pull him out when a story gets TOO raunchy. I loved it!

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I Beg to Differ ..

7/10
Author: satin_grace from United States
3 December 2006

I remember watching this movie when it premiered on the movie channels as a kid. I hadn't even seen A Christmas Story yet and with that in mind I didn't demean this movie just because it didn't compare. I found it quite humorous and I love how it goes beyond the first movie and more into the craziness of their family once I finally watched ACS. It is an excellent movie for kids and adults, especially those that are still kids at heart. I was actually trying to track this title down so I can purchase it on DVD. Seeing the only comment left on this movie was disheartening and I wanted to express my opinion for this wonderful movie.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Liked it, has alternate name

9/10
Author: Steve Doyle from United States
24 December 2004

I saw it as "It Runs in the Family".

I found it very funny. Midwest Gothic humor I guess and I enjoy that and if you like Jean Shepard you'll like this. But also maybe because I didn't try to compare it with "A Christmas Story". It involves one kid's summer in Indiana, trying to outfox the local bully and dealing with the unspoken world of adults. Shepard's crystal clear descriptions of growing up with stand offs and quirky battles. The sets and settings are done perfectly, with all the humid reality of a Midwest summer.

I thought Grodin and Steenbergen were great, along with one of the Caulkin kids. I missed the first part, but still enjoyed it.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great Family movie!

Author: charinms from Mississippi
28 April 2000

"It Runs in the Family" is a great movie for the whole family! It is one of the cutest films I've ever seen! It's right up there with "Stand by Me" and "A Christmas Story." It's the kind of movie that give you a warm feeling, yet it's very entertaining. The Culkin brothers do a great job in my opinion, and Mary Steenburgen is a gem as always. If you're looking for a movie that will make you laugh, and maybe even bring back great childhood memories, this is definitely the movie for you!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Silly, but good

7/10
Author: amanda_tlg from United States
20 May 2005

The prequel -A Christmas Story- will live on as a classic. But this follow up wasn't too bad. I thought it was cute. The dish give-away, the property taxes, the gypsy tent....it's worth seeing. Charles Grodin wouldn't have been my first choice to play the 'old man' but it works, I suppose. The scenes with the next door neighbors will have you laughing for a LONG time. It may be a little hard to watch at first, especially considering most of us are used to the original cast. But it's a memorable movie. Hard to find on VHS or DVD, but I'm still looking. I don't think my collection will be complete until I have it. Anyone who remembers their mother collecting stamps for gravy boats will have a few nostalgic moments here, too.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I loved both movies............so did my whole family!

Author: coolc5801 from United States
3 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My family and I loved a Christmas story and we loved it runs in the family aka. my summer story. Its all about being young and your child hood,people seem to forget that. I've tried to get the movie on DVD and looked everywhere no one has it. If it does come out on DVD my family and i know other's that would love to bye it. My favorites are the hillbilly neighbor's and Charles Grodin. The Culkin boys are great to.This movie is a sure pleaser and it will bring back memories of your childhood.Every neighborhood has neighbor's like the Bumpesses and a child that's trying to live the summer to the fullest.Watch with your family and enjoy Iam sure you and your children will love the movie to.................

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