Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: November 16th 1990
Running Time: 102 minutes
What’s the film about?: An eight year old boy (Kevin) has to defend his home against burglars during the Christmas holidays, after his family accidently leaves him behind when they all travel to Paris for Christmas. 4 sequels have followed this iconic movie, yet no movie compares to the impact and influence of Home Alone, which reminds us of being resourceful in any situation, and to remember that even if your parents and family don’t show it, they still love us just the same.
Starring: Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara
Initial thoughts: Essentially a family friendly film that doesn’t have much to do with Christmas, we are nonetheless reminded that having what you wish for isn’t all that cracked up to be, and that sometimes having family around for the holidays is enough to make a holiday the best holiday there is.
Reason to watch: It’s Macauley Culkin in his prime as an actor- and is a pretty good comedy anyway. Don’t think of this as a Christmas film. Think of it as a comedy film with Christmas elements. Then I think you’ll enjoy it better.
Reason to skip: I can’t think of any reason to skip such a legendary movie. Can you?
Does it have heart?: To the moon and back. When Kevin wakes up after his family are gone, he thinks it’s a wish come true, and he thinks that his family have disappeared. It’s every kids dream to have independence but as the film progresses, Kevin misses his family more and more, and at one point wishes them to come back home. It’s an honest, emotional, and vulnerable portrayal of our own feelings when we’re faced with something that we initially think is our heart’s desire; and a timely and gentle reminder that what we love to do may not be what’s ultimately good for us in the long run. Home Alone places the importance of family firm and centre, and now especially when we can’t be together in the holidays, we can remember that connecting with our family on some level especially now, is needed, and is paramount.
Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: Sort of. There’s snow and Christmas music, but the film isn’t really a Christmas film. It’s situated around Christmas time… but it’s a film that’s about family first.
Uniqueness?: a film about a kid defending his house from burglars. On the surface it doesn’t sound unique. But when you watch it, you’ll find out that it is. Simply because I don’t think we’ve seen a child actor like Macauley back then who acted with that much charisma and confidence.
Scene Stealer: Macauley Culkin in every scene. No reasons need to be given. That’s all.
Christmas message: Same as usual in Hollywood- the message being told here is one of comradery and spending time with the family during the holidays. As usual, the Christmas message of Jesus is forsaken- but the message here is still a positive message- and Christians can watch something like this because God will nonetheless still speak through it.
Closing thoughts: Home Alone is one of the most impacting and influential films of all time. That’s m bold statement. Who else agrees with me? Who else reckons why Macauley’s performance and the notion of good (Kevin) triumphing over evil (the burglars) is reason enough to re-watch this brilliant film again? Anyone disagree with me?
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Yes/no; why/why not?: See above for Closing thoughts