Not only is Home Alone one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time, it is also one of the most profitable films of all time. This week it celebrates 30years of holiday movie rotation. For someone that hasn’t seen this holiday classic, how would you describe this crazy adventure.
When 8 year old Kevin McCallister is left behind during his family’s Christmas vacation because of a random series of events, he uses nothing but his wits to survive. When a pair of bumbling crooks named Harry and Marv try to invade his home, kevin uses ordinary household objects to set up a Christmas themed defense against the foes.
When the movie starts, it gets to the action quick. Everyone is running around in a panic getting ready for the morning. We are introduced to all of the important figures, including a villain hiding in plain sight. In less than 15 minutes, we understand that the family and their relationships with each other are flawed, and the series of unlikely events required to get Kevin home alone operates like morbid clockwork.
First, how did Kevin’s ticket end up in the trash? Better yet, why would you drink milk with pizza?
If you drink milk with pizza… cool. The reason the family does it in the movie is because the mom is concerned about the milk going bad while they are on vacation. she tells the kids to drink the milk. The milk is placed on the counter next to the tickets. The milk is opaque so when Kevin starts a fight over the cheese pizza and causes the milk to spill, it covers the tickets and makes them less visible. Then they are thrown away with the paper towels when cleaned.
One less ticket means one kid is not identified when boarding the plane. And with the parents sitting in first class, they are already in the air when the realization of a forgotten son.
Let’s not forget about the bad weather taking out the power and phone lines. Also, Kevin is sleeping away from the family in the attic. And how can you forget the annoying kid neighbor accidentally being a part of the family head count.
It is these events that allow the movie to continue in a comedy full of hilariously violent pratfalls featuring great performances from Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.
Ultimately, Home Alone is a movie about loneliness, particularly the loneliness of the season. The cast is brilliantly-assembled, and even though he’s irritating at times the star quality of Culkin is undeniable.
The quality of the film deserves a holiday watch at least. You might want to skip one of the 4 sequels that it spawned, but you cannot deny that Home Alone has a permanent place in pop culture history.
Shout out to a great year for Joe Pesci because not only was he in Home Alone, he was also in the classic Goodfellas that came out earlier in the year.