Sunday, December 5, 2010

Home Alone (1990)

Okay. Here we go. Home Alone - the original of course - is great. Quotable for eternity (Look what you did, you little jerk. / This is my house, I have to defend it. / You guys give up? Or you thirsty for more? / I wouldn't let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass. / I'm over here you big horse's ass / Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?) and well crafted in its complexities, Home Alone is a modern masterpiece.

So you know the storm the night before they leave for France? It's everything. The perfect setup. Fate. It knocks out the power - making them late. Screws up the phone lines - making it impossible to call Kevin. The kid who is miscounted for Kevin (Mitch Murphy is his name) - he's crazy funny (How fast does this thing go? Does it have automatic transmission? Does it have four wheel drive?) His amusing nature makes his slightly contrived existence more than forgivable.  Kevin's fear of the neighbor prevents him from opening the door to the police. The McCallister's calling the neighbor for help (who isn't home because rich people are never home for Christmas) alerts The Wet Bandits to the McCallisters' still being in France. It's just all so perfectly built and logical. Je'adore.

On top of all that stuff - Macaulay Culkin really is fantastic. He was ten (probably actually nine when they filmed) and he carries the entire film. His precociousness, the degree to which he actually understands where the humor, it's very impressive. As his father says near the end, "What a funny guy!"

I think I've made my love of Home Alone pretty clear. It also has a fantastic Christmas soundtrack and, much like It's A Wonderful Life, it makes snow look gorgeous.  If you haven't seen it lately, check it out.

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