Kevin! – Home Alone (1990)

The holiday movie that kids love.  So this is about an 8-year-old boy (Macaulay Culkin) that has been clashing with his giant extended family recently.  In the chaos of packing for their Parisian vacation, they manage to accidentally leave him behind.  This means he has to fend for himself, so when a pair of burglars set their eyes on his family’s home as their next mark, he has to man up and defend his abode.  Now this was never a movie that I was a giant fan of; I watched it when I grew up maybe once or twice, but it never worked its way into an annual rotation or anything.  My wife, on the other hand, is a completely different story, and she likes to watch this every Christmas holiday.

1Can you guess what we end up doing?

I will admit, while not being an absolute favorite, Home Alone has grown on me, and I have come to terms with it.  It is such a staple of the 90’s, and everybody is so familiar with this cute kid that has his hands planted on the side of his face.  I don’t know how important it is that you develop a connection with this in your younger years (I feel very similarly about the movie Hook), but this is ultimately so harmless that it’s difficult not to be won over by it.  It is Macaulay Culkin’s movie to sell, and he does just that, and when you reach the finale where all of the traps start to come into play, that is where Home Alone is at its most entertaining.

2Poor Joe Pesci.

Home Alone is a giant fantasy for kids.  They are nowhere close to owning their own home, so a story of one of their own running the roost is sure to connect when it is handled in such a fashion.  It also doesn’t hurt that it is ultimately a kid vs. adults story, and the child wins all over the place, making the grown-ups look like complete buffoons.  I like the creativity at the end, and there’s a message here about the importance of home security.  There’s nothing wrong with Home Alone, and it’s a fun ride, especially for the kids.

Home Alone (1990) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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