‘Home Alone’ Review: Yes, Macaulay Culkin is Still Alive

Posted in Screening Room by - December 10, 2014

It’s now 15 days till Christmas and, Jesus Christ, this month just keeps getting better! We’re getting to the meat of our Christmas List, there are a plethora of movies coming out to theaters we should all go see (except The Pyramid… please, for the love of God, don’t go see that piece of shit), and we’re approaching what is arguably my second favorite holiday (my no. 1 is 4th of July. Go ‘Merica!).

Today’s review is about the perennial Christmas classic, Home Alone. Christmas cheer, 90s cheese, a fantastic score by the great John Williams, and an underlying message about the importance of family—expertly delivered by Roberts Blossom and Macaulay Culkin—make this film a timeless classic. 

I would be willing to argue that I can enjoy watching this movie any time of year. The antics of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are funny, but the overall appeal and power of this movie is taken to a whole new level during the Christmas season. Normally, this is where I’d break down the plot a little and set up the movie, however, that’s not going to happen this time. Let’s dive right into why you should see this movie.

Normally I despise screen writers who write unrealistic dialogue or scripts that trap actors into making horrible artistic choices, however, John Hughes delivers something out of the mold in Home Alone. Similar in comedic style to some of his other classics (Ferris Bueller’s Day OffThe Breakfast Club), Hughes delivers unrealistic dialogue and situations that provide a level a comedy where you can’t help but laugh. The continuous antics of the bumbling burglars, Harry and Marv, are filled with so much cheese and slapstick comedy that it is reminiscent of The Three Stooges and takes me back to being an 8 year old watching those shorts with my family.

How can I not talk about the musical score? Being a classical musician by trade I’ve grown up listening to great film music and John Williams has set the standard. We’re talking about the man that has written some of the most iconic film scores—Star WarsJurassic ParkIndiana JonesHookSupermanJaws… need I say more? Without fail, Williams delivers an excellent score for Home Alone, setting the tone of each scene and connecting you more with the chaos and emotions each actor gives. A highly underrated score and something you can put on the stereo instead of your stereotypical Christmas album this season.

As well, I want to touch on is the subplot between Blossom’s and Culkin’s characters. All comedy aside, the scenes between these two actors near the end of the film morph the story from a simple slapstick comedy into a true seasonal classic. The idea that no matter how you feel about your family—be your dad, mother, brother, or sister—love of family will overcome any obstacle you might feel or experience in your familial relationships.

Home Alone is one of my favorite Christmas films and, if you haven’t seen it yet, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Final Say: A Must See

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