I love this time of year, and as someone who does celebrate the wonderful commercialism of Christmas, I always grab the Holiday/Christmas movies and watch them during December.
So why not talk about some ‘Christmas Classics‘ and starting with one of my favourites Home Alone. This is perhaps the first Christmas film I really remember seeing, my sister took my cousin and I to see this at the movies. At the age of 6 or 7, this film was my favourite! I don’t think we stopped talking about this film, quoting the film and acting out scenes for years. I’d often quote such classic lines as “Why are you dressed like a chicken?” and “This is my house, I have to defend it.”
In later years, I remember showing this film to my younger cousin while my aunty was looking after us and it was kind of fun bringing this film to someone who hadn’t seen it and it certainly made us laugh!
So what made this film so memorable? It was a fun film, something the entire family could watch. It spoke volumes about family themes and it let kids live vicariously through the character of Kevin. It was kind of awesome seeing this young kid out smart the burglars, and we all cheered when they took hits. At the end of the day he is saved from them by an adult, an important and fitting end. Now I know that if someone in real life sustained the type of blows that Harry or Marv received they’d likely be dead or in a coma, this is just a film. And the line between fantasy and reality needs to be understood.
Back in the early 90’s, Macaulay Culkin was the ‘it’ kid. Who didn’t love him in this film? He was that quintessential child actor and this film sky rocketed his fame (and the demons that he’d battle for years to come). Everyone was quoting him or acting out his famous screams, you couldn’t escape it. Now I think he is great in the film, he was very talented and he was a very charismatic kid. He was certainly the perfect actor to play Kevin, and his mischief and antics seemed perfectly natural. I thought he had great chemistry with his family, and the reunion at the end is incredibly heart warming.
Our other main players were the burglars, played memorably by Daniel Stern as Marv and Joe Pesci as Harry. The pair had fantastic chemistry together (why didn’t they ever embark on a buddy cop type film?) and they were the perfect choices to play these roles. Back in these days, two grown men chasing after a little boy didn’t seem creepy because they wanted to rob the house, technically they weren’t really after him except when they realised he’s home alone and they wanted to hurt him so they could rob the place. The film doesn’t come off as creepy unless you decided to look at it like that. But the two actors don’t feel that way and they play their roles quite perfectly, sure they seem threatening but just stupid enough for Kevin to get the upper hand and cause injury to them. These guys actually play these elements really well and it really is just a lot of fun.
Home Alone is definitely a Christmas Classic, the attempted robbery takes place on Christmas Eve, and we get a lot of imagery related to Christmas. The musical score is fantastic and one that is so memorable it’s just nice to listen to. We get some great Christmas themed music included in the film (Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree being my favourite) and of course it even gets played by the band led by John Candy as they drive Kevin’s mother back home. This film reminds me of this time of year and I usually watch it a few times during December, it is one of my favourites and I have a blast with it.
Keep your eyes peeled for a future Super Podcast Commentary on Home Alone.