A family comedy without the family.
Home Alone is a 1990 Christmas comedy film directed by Chris Columbus, written by John Hughes, produced by Hughes Entertainment, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci. It was nominated for Best Original Song and Best Original Score. This is the first film in the Home Alone franchise. It was followed by Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
"Keep the change, ya filthy animal." - Johnny
Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home alone when his entire family goes on a trip to Paris for Christmas. As Kevin enjoys being man of the house, he quickly gets in trouble when two robbers try to break in and burgle the McCallisters' home.
Home Alone Quick Thoughts
Home Alone is one of those movies that I've lost count of how many times I've seen. I've loved it ever since I was a kid. It's an absolute Christmas classic.
The film is made great by many things, but one of those many things is Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister. Child actors are hard to come by. Good child actors are even harder to come by. Great child actors almost don't exist...except for Macaulay Culkin, who gives one of the best performances by a ten-year-old in a movie ever. He is so funny. He's comedic timing and little mannerisms are just hilarious. He's charming. He's likable. He's a fantastic, fantastic character elevated by a fantastic performance.
The story here is also just fun. The idea of watching a kid be an idiot while being home alone is funny enough, but throw in the robbers and the final sequence, and suddenly, you've got pure family entertainment at its finest. The last twenty-five minutes of the film are slapstick gold. The whole end would crack me up when I was seven or eight, and I still get a huge kick out of it today.
It's also one of those movies that just appeals to everyone. One of the things I love about Christmas movies is their ability to reach widespread audiences. Home Alone is just such a fun, charming movie. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they dislike it, although the 66% on Rotten Tomatoes would beg to differ. Still, everyone I talk to about Christmas movies always mentions Home Alone, and for good reason.
Why Home Alone is a Christmas Classic
Home Alone is fun for everyone. Most people grew up watching this movie, so there's a nostalgia factor, but there's also just the idea of purely fun family entertainment. That's what this movie is. It also has the Christmas spirit with all of its shenanigans. At the core of the film is a messy family that is trying to get back to their kid so they can all be together and celebrate Christmas. It's sweet. And it's fun. So that solidifies it as a Christmas classic.
Final Thoughts and Score
Home Alone is an iconic movie full of classic imagery and one-liners. I loved it when I first saw it, and I still love it to this day.
It's a Sweet. Age range is 4+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 9/10
Directed by Chris Columbus
Rated PG for slapstick violence and action, minor language, thematic elements
Released on November 16, 1990
1 hour and 43 minutes
Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister
Joe Pesci as Harry Lime
Daniel Stern as Marv Merchants
Catherine O'Hara as Kate McCallister
John Heard as Peter McCallister
John Candy as Gus Polinski
Devin Retray as Buzz McCallister
Roberts Blossom as Old Man Marley
Angela Goethals as Linnie McCallister
Gerry Bamman as Frank McCallister
Michael C. Maronna as Jeff McCallister
Kristin Minter as Heather McCallister
Ralph Foody as Johnny
Michael Guido as Snakes