There is no argument about it. Home Alone is one of the best all-time movies to watch around the holidays. It has everything that you can ask for: family fun, presents, white christmas, and Santa Clause; or at least someone who tries to be him. The most important detail it has is this: not even money can buy the best gift of all: being loved and having a wonderful family. Even when like Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, who at times felt that he did not want his family, the truth is we all need to go through difficult times in the family. It is the only way we can grow and mature, and learn from past mistakes.
While many movies can take a fantasy approach to doing christmas movies, this is a film that dives right into the spirit of Christmas in the most casual way possible. This was a brilliant decision because it makes it that much easier to relate to the characters in the film. If you can relate to characters in a movie, then perhaps you will find it that much more enjoyable regardless of the story or genre. You can always look at films as books that have come to life: they have a story or message to tell. At times, they can be very direct, or, you have to put in your part to follow along to get the message.
Pace is arguably one of this film’s greatest characteristics. While the focus is primarily on Kevin and his difficult relationship with his family, there is enough concentration on the supporting cast to have a good understanding of the film’s plot and story. There is never a time when you feel as though things are not moving fast enough; the story flows quite effectively from start to finish to take you through Kevin’s adventures.
They always say that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Well, it really depends on how you look at that seasonal cliche. If you think about spending quality time with family, friends, and loved ones, then yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Sadly, it can also be a very difficult time to get through as you rush from store to store looking for that great present, but more importantly, not every family or person is in the most jolly of moods around this time of year. To say that Kevin’s or the McCallister family’s Christmas was ruined by an unfortunate mistake is not true. What they all realized is that money simply cannot buy the best gifts or presents; or make Christmas that much more memorable.
Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern truly steal the show with their performances as very clumsy and idiotic thieves. You just know that in a real setting, they would not be as clumsy, so their command of their respective characters is outstanding. You never think about villains in a Christmas movie, but the fact is that the inclusion of Marv and Harry actually made this movie better given that Kevin is an 8 year old boy who is alone, and they are presumably good at what they do. We would be talking about a different movie entirely without the inclusion of Harry and Marv. This would probably require a change in the plot, story, and characters because the story may not revolve around the idea of Kevin being home alone.
What is most impressive about this film is how it has withstood the test of time. Regardless of the genre, great films are those that no matter when you see them, are a joy to watch. You never get bored of the cast or story, and in this case, it never stops entertaining you and reminding you of what Christmas is all about. If you happen to be wondering what movie to watch around this time of year, whether you have never seen it, or have seen it many times, Home Alone is always a great film to watch for the holidays!