Stuff I Watch in December: Home Alone (1990)

Happy Holidays and welcome! We are counting down the days until December 25th and, in that time, I will be reviewing each and every Christmas/holiday film I watch during the month. They’re mostly a selection of films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

Holiday Inn (1942)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
White Christmas (1954)
Santa Claus (1959)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
I Believe in Santa Claus (1984)
Lethal Weapon (1986)
Die Hard (1988)
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Scrooged (1988)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: Home Alone (1990)

home alone

DIRECTOR: Chris Columbus started his career writing some great films like GremlinsThe Goonies, and the sleeper film Young Sherlock Holmes. He would get decades of work thanks to the success of Home Alone. He would go on to helm the sequel to this film as well as two of the eight Harry Potter films. He also directed Mrs. Doubtfire as well as the severely underrated Bicentennial Man.

WHAT IS IT?: One of the biggest box office successes of its era and a classic Christmas film.

THE PLOT: Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) is left home alone all Christmas break after a family member mistakes a neighborhood kid for him during a headcount before they leave for the airport in a rush. Kevin’s helpless as most children — but resourceful in his own way. This helps when two burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) show up to rob the house. The movie is mostly Kevin getting in and out of trouble and while you cringe at the bratty, over-privileged behavior on the part of both him and his parents during the first quarter of the movie, everyone ends up becoming sympathetic by virtue of chemistry and because kids and parents can relate with each of The Family McAllister.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: The film received mixed to positive reviews and, for once, I could see why. The film features a convoluted and mostly unbelievable plot and the entire idea that a kid is smarter than every adult in the film is utterly ridiculous.

WHAT DID I THINK?: Home Alone is far better than it has any right to be. It’s a silly, convoluted goofball idea (with some odd script choices when it comes to the “parenting” in this film) made magical via a great cast, spot-on direction from future Harry Potter helmer, Chris Columbus and an incredibly memorable musical score from the great John WIlliams. Wrap that all in Christmas ambiance, and you have yourself the perfect Christmas movie.


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