Home Alone: How does it hold up?

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Occasionally I like to write a movie review. Rarely can I sit and watch a movie once and decide definitively what I think about it. I have ¾ of a review on Arrival written up that I can’t finish until I see it again.

Then again there are other movies that I know I love after I see the first teaser preview. Guardians of the Galaxy was that way. I am as excited about the sequel as any upcoming Star Wars movie and that is saying a lot. A teaser for Despicable Me 3 came out today and I already love it, despite the fact the Minions movie wasn’t great. After all, you can expect nothing but greatness from a movie that sports this line: “That isn’t a monster, that’s a man in shoulder pads!”

Anyway, I can’t afford to hit up the big screen as often as I’d like, despite 5 dollar Tuesdays (Megaplex’s version of a soup kitchen). So I figure I can review old movies too. This can be fun because I’m finding as I re-watch them that they are often not nearly so great now as they were when I was younger. Adam Sandler isn’t really that funny (with the exception of 50 First Dates and Anger Management), and neither is Jim Carrey (No exception, though I love him in more serious roles like The Truman Show and that one about the theater).

So I made the kids watch Home Alone tonight. I’m not going to lie, this one holds up. It is a fantastic movie. The writers on this one knew their craft and what they wanted to accomplish.

The sequels fall short because the studios assumed Home Alone succeeded because of Kevin’s booby traps , but that isn’t the case (is it hypocritical that I disclaimed Sandler’s comedy and still giggled a bit as I typed booby?).

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Home Alone is mostly a coming of age story mashed with a more traditional Christmas style story. The robbery is a tool used to drive the main story forward.

A well-structured story begins with the main plot issue and ends when it is resolved. This story kicks off when Kevin tells his Mother he wishes he had no family (at this point in the movie Anne and I looked sideways at each other wondering if this movie was a mistake for our young kids). We needn’t have worried. The movie very appropriately ends when he wishes for his family back and is reunited with them on Christmas morning. The point is driven home again when Kevin looks out the window and sees the old dude making up with his estranged son. This is the old dude that Kevin’s older brother (a fat Biff from Back to the Future according to Anne) said was a shovel wielding serial killer.

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Anyway, this movie was funny because of Kevin’s antics, but it is great because we got to watch Kevin grow up a bit.

Most of the time when you watch a movie and the ending isn’t a home run it’s because the writers didn’t know what kind of story they were telling. A lot of the time this results in a movie that has a dragged out ending, or one that seems to end more than once (Ex: The Revenant couldn’t decide if it was a survival flick or a revenge movie. It can be both but it should predominantly be one or the other and the end dragged of what should have been a super solid story).

Anyway, on a scale from Poor to Awesome Home Alone gets a solid fantastic.