Time to cut out the reindeer games—I need to get going on these Christmas films! So far, I’ve discussed five joyful and triumphant holiday films (check them out in the 12 Films of Christmas Archives if you missed them), and here we are at the halfway point! I gotta say, of the films I’ve covered for this series so far, this is the one I’m least likely to handle with objectivity. In other words, I love this film. Is it a masterpiece? Probably not. Does is give me a ridiculous amount of happiness every time I watch it? Yes. Therefore, forgive me if I tend to turn a blind eye to the faults this time. But enough intro! For the sixth film of Christmas my local library gave to me…Culkin’s Home Alone!
Home Alone (1990)
Synopsis: “An 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind while his family flies to France for Christmas must defend his home against idiotic burglars.” –www.imdb.com
The Holly Jolly:
- The premise. What would an 8-year-old do if his huge family suddenly vacated the house without him? Cause some mischief and have a ton of fun. It’s a joy to watch.
- Macaulay Culkin. Like so many child actors, his reputation is a little tarnished today, but he’s fantastic in this film. As accidentally abandoned child Kevin, Culkin is cute, clever, and pretty darn funny as he runs around his house screaming, mouths the words to a gangster film, and just acts like a carefree kid.
- The Stooge-like burglars. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern know just how to strike funny bones as moronic thieves Harry and Marv. Their facial expressions, their screams, their building frustration—comedy gold. My father has seen this film a million times, but every time he sees it, he laughs at literally everything that happens to these poor, wonderful idiots.
- The music. John Williams has been behind many brilliant scores, and Home Alone is no exception. I don’t always pay attention to that kind of thing, but the music in every scene sets the tone perfectly.
- All the clever traps for the burglars. Kevin fortifies his home in ways that I probably never would have dreamed of. His traps are both impressive and hilarious.
- The lesson Kevin learns. Through thick and thin, family is important, and you should be with those people you love during the holidays. A cheesy and predictable lesson, perhaps, but c’mon—if you don’t get at least a little choked up when Kevin’s mom comes home, then you might be a robot.
The Lumps of Coal:
- If you can’t appreciate slapstick humor, you may find it hard to like the last 30 minutes of this film. It’s akin to the Three Stooges, but more violent. I still cringe when Marv sticks his bare foot on a nail…
- When you think about it, the family is quite harsh on little Kevin at the beginning of the film. You’d think his parents would be a little more understanding—especially during the holidays!
- Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom) shows up to save the day toward the end, but this still baffles me. How did he know where Kevin was? Pretty convenient, if you ask me.
In a Nutcracker’s Nutshell: I can’t bear to say anymore bad things about this film! Home Alone probably has many more flaws than the ones I’ve mentioned, but none its imperfections prevent me from enjoying this delightful, hilarious story of a kid left to his own devices during Christmas. It’s undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite holiday films. If you don’t like that, I say bah humbug!
My Glad Tidings: A
More on the way soon! If I want to get all of these done by Christmas, I just realized I need to do six more films in ten days! Eeeek! No worries though—I’m on it like Santa Claus on cookies and milk. 😉