Home Alone

The 1990 comedy Home Alone is distributed by 20th Century Fox.  Some of its stars include Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, Joe Pesci as Harry, Daniel Stern as Marv, Roberts Blossom as Marley, Catherine O’Hara as Kate McCallister, and John Heard as Peter McCallister.  The film’s memorable score is composed by John Williams (Star Wars).  The director is Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire).

The story takes place primarily in Chicago, Illinois.  Kevin McCallister is the youngest of five children.  His Aunt Leslie and Uncle Frank and their five kids are staying with them for the night.  In the morning they are to board a plane to Paris where they will spend the holidays with Frank and Peter’s brother Rob.  After Kevin’s older brother Buzz deliberately eats up all of the cheese pizza, which is his little brother’s favorite, he pushes him against the counter, causing the milk to spill all over.  Everyone automatically blames Kevin and he is sent to bed early.  Before he goes up for the night, he wishes he would never see his family again.  The next morning after the power had gone out overnight, everyone wakes up late and there is a mad rush to get everything ready.  Kevin, asleep in the attic and unaware of the chaos below, doesn’t hear them.  The family mistakes a neighbor boy for Kevin and takes off for the airport.  When he finally wakes up and finds the house deserted, he thinks it is all a joke until he remembers what happened the previous night.  The young boy realizes his freedom and does whatever he wants.  Little does he know that two bandits are looking to rob his house, believing the family to be gone for the holidays.  On the plane, Kate finally realizes what is missing but cannot go back until they reach Paris.

Catherine O’Hara’s portrayal of Kate McCallister, Kevin’s mother, is remarkable.  Kate was the last person to see Kevin before they left for Paris and, as a mother, worries the most about the safety of her son.  After the family arrives in Paris, Kate decides to go back to the states alone to check on Kevin.  She runs into one obstacle after another when she tries to find an available flight back to Chicago because it’s the holidays when everyone is travelling.  The concerned mother goes on every flight she can hoping that the airport she arrives at will have a place to Chicago.  You can clearly see the exhaustion and frustration on Kate’s face as she tries to persevere, hoping for a Christmas miracle of some kind.  Brilliant acting by a truly gifted actress.

Another feature of the film, and probably it’s most well-known feature, is the traps for the bandits.  Only a child could think up such elaborate schemes to keep thieves from stealing his family’s valuables.  We can all appreciate the creative imagination that a child has.  As an adult, we tend to lose some of that as we find out more about the world of reality.  I believe that this trait is the most powerful one in Home Alone.  If an adult were faced with a similar situation, he or she would most likely just call the police and have them handle it.  But being a child and, therefore, having a child’s imagination, Kevin decides to deal with the robbers in his own way before calling the cops.

To wrap, Home Alone is a heart-warming Christmas comedy that is a true classic and, in my opinion, is well worth your time!

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