Saturday, December 4, 2010

Time Capsule Cinema: Home Alone

A lovely cheese pizza, just for me.
~Kevin McCallister

Home Alone (1990)
Find it in the catalog!

Twenty years have passed since the McCallisters from suburban Chicago got on a plane to Paris, leaving 8-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) home alone in the days just before Christmas. After being made fun of by his older siblings and cousins and always feeling left out Kevin can't believe his good luck; he thinks the wish he made the night before to make his family disappear actually came true. He jumps on his parents' bed while eating popcorn, shovels down heaping spoonfuls of ice cream while watching a gangster movie, and delights in being able to order an entire cheese pizza for himself. But two thieves named Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), aka The Wet Bandits, are making their way across the neighborhood, robbing families who are out of town. Kevin decides to push his fears aside and creates a plan to defend his empty house from them. I think the reason why Home Alone has become a new holiday classic is because of any of the following memorable scenes:
  • Little Nero's delivery boy hitting the statue in front of the house each time he pulls into the drive
  • Kevin's family members running through the airport to their gate as "Run Rudolph Run" plays on the soundtrack
  • After taking a shower, Kevin narrates his day into the mirror as he gets ready: "I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap including all my major crevices, including in between my toes and in my belly button, which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape." He then puts aftershave on his palms and fingertips, pressing them to his cheeks, resulting in the infamous "AHH!" scream.
  • Kevin standing in front of the mirror using his comb as a mic while he lip syncs "White Christmas" performed by The Drifters
  • Kevin fast forwarding the dialogue in the gangster movie "Angels with Filthy Souls" to scare the pizza delivery boy Later he simply plays the scene when Marv is outside, setting off firecrackers in a pot by the doggy door. "Keep the change, you filthy animal!"
  • Kevin's talk with his neighbor "Old Man Marley" in church as Marley's granddaughter sings in the choir
  • Kevin's mother (Catherine O'Hara) hitching a ride with John Candy's polka band in a Budget truck
  • Harry and Marv being deterred from attempting to rob the McCallisters after they see what they think is a lively party. But really Kevin has tied mannequins to strings and attached a cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan to the top of a toy train to make it appear like the McCallisters have a full house.
  • Marv's high-pitching shrieking after Kevin puts Buzz's pet tarantula on his face
  • Macaulay Culkin's adorable face. I dare you not to fall in love with him! 
  • more, of course, but then I'd end up describing each scene in the movie. What are you favorite scenes?
Although Home Alone movie hasn't been around as long as It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas, it is always on my list of holiday movies to re-watch each year.