Old-Lady Movie Night: ‘Home Alone' Anne T. Donahue

There are two things you need to know about me: 1) I just ate six chocolates out of my Advent calendar and I don’t feel guilty about it and 2) I really love old movies.

I know. What incredibly groundbreaking facts to share.

But when someone says “old” and then they say “movies”, they usually mean “classic” or they mean “pretentious” or they mean “those movies that everyone owns but haven’t watched since first year film class”. And I can promise you that the only word my taste in movies reflects is “aged” (and/or “terrific”).

But not “aged” like a cheddar – more like “aged” like a Twinkie. Because while cheese gets better the older it gets, my favourite movies stay exactly the same. And just like a Twinkie, I wouldn’t recommend eating those movies after you’ve left them for dead in the back of a cupboard, but I do recommend watching them with a crap-ton snacks, in bed, wearing pajamas. So that’s what we’re going to do now. Together. And since I’ve the government of Canada has branded myself me an “adult”, I am going to make grown-up lady observations and apply them to these cinematic gems in 25 points.

(I know. And I will accept each and every thank you card with a basket of candy.)

This week: Home Alone.

And the Oscar goes to all of us.

1) Kevin McAllister is a little brat

I know. I’m really taking some liberties and starting off on a high note here. But COME ON, right, guys? The kid interrupts his mother on the phone as she’s trying to organize her entire existence, and after she asks him to stop, he tells her to “get off the phone and make me, why don’t you”. WELL WHY DON’T I, THEN, I would say. And then up to the attic he would go and I would leave him there, and . . . oh. Right.

2) Goatees are the worst

Remember how Mrs. McAllister tells Mr. McAllister to “grow a goatee” when he can’t find the voltage adapter? Goatees are the worst. He’ll look like the devil, for real. What terrible advice courtesy of Catherine O’Hara. I mean, come on, Cat.

3) Of course Kevin doesn’t know how to pack a suitcase

On top of the ultimate question, “What kind of parents leave their child alone over Christmas holidays?!”, here’s another big Q: why are they making an 8-year-old boy pack his own suitcase? Does he even know what to pack? Half the time I don’t even know what to pack. I leave the house for two days and I forget everything but my hair straightener and that free t-shirt I got on St. Patrick’s Day once. Money, guys: it can’t buy you common sense when it comes to parenting. Happiness maybe, though.

4) “I’M LIVING ALONE!”

Amen, brother.

5) Fuller is Kevin McAllister’s brother in real life!

THE  MORE YOU KNOW.

6) Correct, Uncle Frank: Kevin is a little jerk

I mean, let’s just call a spade a spade: Kevin is actually Satan, I think. His parents are taking him to Paris. They buy them all pizza. They live in a mansion. Yet he can’t even say “sorry” after causing a major kerfuffle that was actually his fault? SAY GOODNIGHT, KEVIN, INDEED. (And then he calls his mother “dummy”, which, if my Irish-Lithuanian parents were ever on the receiving end of that little comment, would probably ground me [yes, even now, at age 26] and never feed me again.)

7) The McAllisters are actually wizards

All of us have experienced a lot of terrible things, but I think we can all agree that the most terrible thing is waking up really late for our first class flight to Paris (uh?) and then having to get ready in a record amount of time to a John Williams-written version of ‘Sleigh Ride’. Also, there is no way they could’ve actually made it to the airport if they were regular old human beings. There is just no way. I woke up late for a shift at McDonald’s once and I lived across the street and I was still 15 minutes late, which meant that if McDonald’s was a plane, I’d have never made it. Wizards, for real. Someone call Voldemort.

8 ) It’s also the sister’s fault that Kevin was left

Well, obviously it’s Catherine O’Hara’s. I mean, she’s the mother and should’ve counted the children herself because she’s apparently an adult, but still. Could “Heather” (if that is her real name) not have counted faces? I mean, there’s an idea: “Turn around, weird kid!” – “Okay!” – “OH! You’re not Kevin!” BOOM. More like Home Alone: The Story of a House That Was Left Empty Because Everyone Went to Paris, Including Kevin.

9) Kevin would’ve had to undergo some intense therapy

Okay, but imagine waking up after a huge fight with your parents and basically damning them into oblivion and then NOT FINDING THEM AT ALL? “I made my family disappear!” would be his most-uttered line in weekly sessions, quite obviously, likely accompanied by tears and shaking and the fetal position on his shrink’s couch. And then he was victimized by two criminals. And then it happened all over again. In a strange, giant city. Cheque. Please.

9) b) We Need To Talk About Kevin was probably about THIS Kevin

I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Discuss.

10) The McAllisters were wealthy wizards

Alright, so we’ve covered the fact that they’re obviously wizards, but have we determined what exactly they do for money? How can they afford first class and that giant house and the property tax on that giant house? Is Mr. McAllister actually Gandolf? I want you to think about that and get back to me because I mean, WHAT DO THEY DO?

11) “What kind of mother am I?”

You are a bad mother, Mrs. McAllister. You are actually a very terrible mother and thank goodness you are not any of ours.

12) This movie wouldn’t exist in 2011

To start, they wouldn’t have made the plane. (Security, guys – what. a. bummer.) Also, Kevin probably would’ve had a cell phone and his parents would’ve reached him, no problem at all. And email. (Kids have email now, right?) Neighbours would’ve been emailing all over the place, and then they would’ve found a flight back or Kevin would’ve stayed with the grandparents or a friend or someone. The old man? God, that old man is effing creepy.

13) The kindly old man is really terrifying for real

I get that he’s got a heart of gold, but are you kidding me with the walking and the staring and the dragging of the salt bucket? Obviously he is stronger than your average old man (some sort of demon, perhaps?) and if he loved kids as much as he claims to love kids, he’d probably attempt to actually speak with them as opposed to invading their space bubble and then glaring at them like he’s Clint Eastwood and they’re the people on his lawn. (“Get off my lawn!” – Clint Eastwood/2009 catch phrase)

14) Kevin is a better adult than any of us

Every time I go to the grocery store, I feel like Kevin McAllister when I’m carrying my worldly possessions and I tell the cashier not to ask where my parents are and I inevitably drop everything and then my debit card doesn’t go through, and then I hear a sound at home and I refuse to go into the basement because I saw a spider there and I wear pajamas for days at a time and I’m actually nothing like Kevin because he actually functions in the real world without crying or breaking or stress eating a box of leftover Halloween candy. Grown-ups, guys! So very inept.

15) The robbers are masochists

Maybe I’d be a terrible robber, but if my scalp was getting burned and I fell down the stairs and I stepped on broken glass and got stuck going up the stairs, I would probably leave that house and never return. But not them. No, oddly they’re “into it” (maybe even said with a wink, if you know what I mean). Are they best friends, by the way? Because that union does not seem conducive to a relationship built on growing and sharing and caring and stress crying on the phone. #pals

16) The robbers are terrifying

Remember To Catch A Predator? I mean, I am JUST SAYING, Joe Pesci.

17) “ROCKING AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE”, INDEED

Raise your hands if you stood in front of your windows hoping you’d create the type of silhouette Kevin did with his collections of mannequins (?) and Michael Jordan cut-outs (??) and Brenda Lee on repeat. No? Me neither (the other day when I wanted to test my curtains).

18) Buzz probably grew up to manage a defunct gas station

There is nothing at all wrong with managing a gas station. I am simply implying that if there was a nearly-abandoned gas station on the highway in a terrible half-town, Buzz probably works there because his family understandably stopped loving him. (Since they’re clearly both forgetful and self-centered.)

19) Angels With Filthy Souls should win all of the Oscars

First of all, did you know that Angels With Filthy Souls was made exclusively for Home Alone? And did you also know that it was modeled on another movie that I can’t remember because it didn’t really matter to me when I found out? Of course you did. These facts aren’t new. Just like how it isn’t new when you (and me and everyone else) change(s) your Facebook status to “keep the change, you filthy animal” every year in time for the holidays. WE ARE ALL BEST FRIENDS.

20) Kevin is an evil genius

WHO THINKS THAT QUICKLY?! Today two of my coworkers made fun of my inability to differentiate between two types of purple and the only comeback I could think of was “shut uuuuuup” and I am 26-years-old. Kevin is eight. He is eight years old and he damaged a paper boy, outsmarted two robbers, rigged up his house and gave his parents a complex. What did he grow up to be, guys? (A sociopath, probably.)

21) I miss John Candy

:(

22) No, but Kevin is seriously going to hate Christmas until he dies

Remember the time you were abandoned by your family and you were left to roam your city on Christmas Eve and then saw all the families who didn’t abandon their kids hug and laugh and smile? No? And that’s why you’re a functioning human being.

23) It’s okay to cry during the church scene and also at the end

Okay, so maybe it’s the ‘Carol of the Bells’ medley talking, but minus the oversharing at the church and the old man trying to set Kevin up with his lovely red-headed granddaughter (also, has he even talked to her? Does she know who he is?), I am into the old man and want adopt him as my own son and/or great-grandfather (because I already have a Grampa). Like, what I’m trying to say is that I TAKE BACK WHAT I SAID ABOUT YOU, OLD MAN. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. CATCH MY FALLING TEARS, YOU WONDERFUL SOUL.

24) Kevin has no respect for mac and cheese

That part is very hard for me to watch and I hate him for leaving it behind and I wonder how delicious it was every time I take a breath.

25) Home Alone 2 is not as good

There. I said it. It isn’t. I mean, IT IS NOT, AM I RIGHT? Like, shout-out to Rob Schneider and everything, but I liked the “Makin’ copies!” guy best when he was kicking it old school on SNL. And then there’s the bird lady. And the not-as-funny movie-within-a-movie scene. And Catherine’s haircut. And the cans of paint. It’s all been done! I mean, at least give Kevin some character growth. Maybe he wears a black armband now that he’s been emotionally traumatized or in solidarity for the little red-headed girl he could’ve loved? I don’t know. But I do know that we chose the best one, guys. And I can 110% promise you now that never will I make us talk about Home Alone 3.

We’re better than that. We’d never waste our mac and cheese.

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  1. This is amazing and I love you for it.

  2. i loved every word of this!! ever SINGLE word. and the “south bend shovel slayer” photo entertained me at work for hours. home alone is amazing!! thank you for this.

  3. It was his cousin – the one whose parents live in Paris – who was in charge of counting out the kids. But yeah, one of his sisters or brothers should have noticed as well but there were two vans to the airport and each probably thought the other one had all the other kids.

  4. YES. I have always wondered that. Maybe Kevin’s mom moonlighted as a seamstress? I think mannequins in the basement would be a lot scarier than a furnace.

  5. 26) Why does that family keep mannequins in the basement?

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