I’m wary of remakes and sequals that are made years or decades after the original. Too many times, they are lazy. Only a handful of the original actors ever come back, if they come back at all. The plots generally try to remake the original film beat for beat and by the middle, you know exactly how the ending will go because you’ve seen this movie before and it was better the first time.

Its 1973 and middle-aged budding author Ralpie Parker’s goal is to get his first science fiction novel published before Christmas. Previously, he quit his regular job so he could focus on his writing and now money is tight before Christmas. Then he gets a call to return to his home town in Indiana. The plot revolves around Ralphie’s desire to make the perfect Christmas and all of the adventures that come with it.

This is a heartfelt tribute to the original that has its own jokes and its own characters with their own arcs. Yes, there are scenes that are direct remakes of scenes from the original and there are even several flashbacks to footage from the original, but they aren’t the entire story. They are mostly there to add color and a nod to the audience.

Watch it with your family with a bowl of popcorn and laugh. It’s a good time.

9/10 stars.