When I was six years old, I thought Home Alone was the funniest movie ever made. It was the first movie I ever saw multiple times in the theaters and I even wrote about the scene where Kevin burns his face with the aftershave, for a class assignment. We got the VHS as soon as it came out but by the time the sequel came out, my interest had waned. I not only didn’t see Home Alone II in the theater, the VHS was gifted to me by a relative and I didn’t even remove the plastic for a year. I don’t know exactly what happened. I would still watch both Culkin films when I caught them on tv but I didn’t really sit down and watch it again until I was an adult and I was shocked to see how well it held up. Any plotholes I could dream up were covered. Everything is so intricately plotted you can just sit back and enjoy the hilarity.
The McCallisters are preparing for a family Christmas trip to Paris. The family is packed with cousins and other relatives and Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is upset that they aren’t having Christmas at home. The last straw is when the family eats the last of his precious cheese pizza and he is sent to the attic to go to sleep without dinner. As the family sleeps, a tree falls on the power lines, causing them to lose electricity and oversleep. In the rush to catch the plane, the family forgets to wake Kevin and a nosey neighbor boy gets mistaken for Kevin in all the craziness. It isn’t until they are in the air does his mother (Catherine O’Hara) piece together what happened. Kevin, however, does not question his family’s absence and assumes that his wish to not have a family anymore has been granted. He enjoys his time alone as his family frantically tries to get back to him as quickly as possible. However, two thieves have been casing his neighborhood and when they realize it is just Kevin, the plot to rob the house. Kevin gets wind of this and prepares the house for their invasion.
It’s funny that this film is mostly known for such a small portion of its plotline. Everyone remembers how this little boy tortured a dastardly duo (played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), but that really only covers the act three of the close to two hour long movie. While Kevin has to outsmart the bad guys a bit in act two, almost everything people remember of this film happens at the end. So much crafting went into the story so that in the end everything made sense and had happen the way it did.
Rewatching this as an adult gave me new appreciate for the little wonder that was Macaulay Culkin. He really was one of the most perfect child actors of all-time. Everything out of his mouth is incredibly charming, even when he’s being a total brat. Recently found out that his line “Are you giving up, or are you thirsty for more?” was an ad lib. Amazing. Culkin has had his up and downs post-Home Alone but I hope he is able to gives a few more great performances in the future.
If you grew up with this movie and haven’t seen it in awhile, do yourself a favor and pour yourself some egg nog and let the memories flood back to you. There are some really great moments in this Christmas classic.