Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home Alone

Home Alone (1990)
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara
Rating: PG
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

When you don't write in your blog, it's amazing how a week can turn into almost a month! I watched Home Alone  a couple of weeks ago with my fiancee, and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. I have about four more on the list to do after this one, also. All of them are considered "Christmas movies" so I really need to crank them all out before December ends, at least!

I acquired this movie VERY recently. I had the sequel from a few years back, but only this year did the original drop down into the Wal-Mart $5 DVD bin. From there, I acquired this gem and insisted my fiancee didn't know what she was missing, and that we had to watch it!

I had been familiar with this film for quite some time before this most recent viewing. I watched it multiple times a year every year as a child. Each year, Harry and Marv got a little less scary. It was only in the most recent viewing that I realized it was directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) and written by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Chris Columbus has an extensive resume of directing children, family, and ultimately great films  The PG rating was appropriate, but only because you have to check the subtitles on Harry a couple of times.

Brief Synopsis:

Kevin (Macaulay Culkin; The Pagemaster) is the youngest member of his large immediate family (and the second youngest of the extended family) the McAllisters. We find that Kevin holds some anger towards his family, mostly because he feels ignored, isolated and bullied by his siblings and cousins. The night before the McAllisters leave on their Christmas vacation to Paris, Kevin has a huge fight with his whole family, especially his mother (Catherine O'Hara; Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) and before going to bed, wishes that he would wake up to find them gone. Due to Kevin's wish/his parents inability to get up on time or count heads, he gets his wish. Lately, however, there have been a lot of burglaries from the notorious "Wet Bandits" Harry (Joe Pesci; GoodFellas) and Marv (Daniel Stern; City Slickers), which is bad for Kevin....or maybe it's bad for them!


This movie is so much fun! Kids and adults alike will chuckle at the slapstick shenanigans of Kevin and the Wet Bandits (looking for a band name? HELLO!!). I gave this movie a high rating because it's just fun. It's not exactly Oscar material (although it WAS nominated for the soundtrack category) but it's fun for the whole family, and has some good lessons in there too. As a 23 year old, I still enjoyed every minute of it. I had forgotten how much plot exposition exists in the first one, and how little fighting the bad guys there is, but nonetheless, an enjoyable ride.

Some highlights for me include the movie within a movie "Angels with Filthy Souls", which has a sequel that premieres during the Home Alone sequel, and the John Candy cameo, when he appears as Polka band leader who offers Kate McAllister a ride back to Chicago. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern give a brilliantly comedic performance as our now-favorite blundering burglars, and Macaulay Culkin....well. He was nothing special, except insight on the kids who act out today. But ultimately he shows to be a good kid who has been parented decently to that point in his life, despite being left at home by accident.

If you are a lover of slapstick, you HAVE to watch this! Especially if you have not. 'Tis the season!

What Can We Learn From This?

1. Don't wish your family matter how mad you are. You will miss them if they're actually gone.

2. Don't let Fuller have Coke before bed.

3. Call the police if your house is being broken into.

4. Do a double headcount before boarding an international flight with a family of 14 or larger.

5. Michael Jordan cardboard cutouts WILL convince people you are home. Especially combined with Jingle Bell Rock.

6. Buzz's girlfriend....WOOF.

Okay. This has been fun but seriously. You shouldn't wish your family away. It would be a good lesson never to go to bed angry.

Another lesson that Kevin learns (which has been a valuable lesson in my own life, as well) is to form one's own opinion. Buzz told Kevin terrible stories about their neighbor (who, I'll admit, is a bit scary looking) but Kevin eventually meets him, forms a friendship with him, and it pays wonderful dividends later..for both parties. This movie encourages you to stray away from your first impression and really get to know someone.

Final thought:

If you're looking for a good Christmas movie to watch that doesn't involve Santa, getting the present or the girl at the end, or a heart that grows three sizes (more on that later), watch this movie. I've said this a lot, but it's fun for the whole family. The writing and directing is done by two established artists and the veteran actors like Pesci and Stern make this a must-see. If you've made it this far in your life without seeing it, I suggest you remedy this immediately. Trust me on this one. You won't regret it.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I will try to get the other Christmas themed entries up at least before the end of the year. That's the standard grace period for Christmas related things, isn't it?

Again, thanks for your time and minimal effort! Please click the clicky buttons below if you feel one (or three) is appropriate, and your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 

Thanks for reading, God bless!!