Wednesday, August 29, 2012


(November 1992, U.S.)

Throughout my blog, it's become pretty obvious that I'm probably never going to have the opportunity to discuss Christmas films during the actual holiday season. Time, circumstance and the alphabetical order of my film collection just don't seem to want to allow it. That being the case, for the purposes of this blog post, just think of me as one of those business establishments that has a "Christmas sale in August!"

Now the first thing you're probably saying to yourself is a great, big "What the fuck??" Is this guy seriously going right into the sequel without discussing the original film?? I'm afraid that's a great, big affirmative! You see, even back in 1990, when I was dragged to see HOME ALONE against my will by a buddy of mine, my postitive reaction to the film was very minimal. I simply found it to be too childish for my tastes. Despite the fact that I now have a six year-old boy who loves HOME ALONE and despite the additional fact that I just love to hear the sound of his laughter, my initial reaction to the original film hasn't improved much over time. It's still very childish.

So why bother seeing the sequel if you didn't like the first film, you may be asking yourself. Well, two things happened to me that changed things a bit. The first was that in 1991, I actually had the opportunity to witness some of the filming of HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK in the Plaza Hotel because my mother was working there at the time and it peaked my curiousity. The second was that by the time the film was released in 1992, I was dating a girl who really wanted to see it with me. What was I to do? Lo and behold, though, the second film was a bit darker and a whole lot funnier than its predecessor.

Those who are familiar know that the first HOME ALONE film ended with all things and all people living happily ever after. Yet, it would seem that only a year later the entire McCallister family is at each other's throats again as they prepare for yet another Christmas family vacation together, this time in Florida. Despite already having proved himself worthy by saving the family home once before, Kevin McCallister (played again by Macaulay Culkin) seems to be the big family joke all over again and is still getting no respect from his siblings, especially Buzz (played again by Devin Ratray). Kevin's got the right negative attitude toward the trip, though, in my opinion - who wants to spend Christmas in a tropical climate without snow or a Christmas tree (and this question is coming from a Jewish guy!)??

Technically, Kevin is not left "home alone" by accident this time, but rather separated from his family at the airport as they desperately scramble to make their flight. No real life responsible parent, by the way, would ever run ahead of their small child in a crowded airport (just thought I'd mention that)! So this time Kevin ends up in New York City while his family ends up in Florida. Kevin stays in the luxurious Plaza Hotel by figuring out how to use his dad's credit card while his family stays in a dive motel. Kevin has beautiful Chistmas-type weather while his family has nothing but rain. Yes, I'd say the mischievous ten year-old knows how to have a damn good time! Unfortunately, as circumstance would have it (no matter how far-fetched it may seem!), the "wet bandits" from the first film, Harry (played again by Joe Pesci) and Marv (played again by Daniel Stern) have escaped from jail and have just arrived guessed it - New York City! The rest of the film is as obvious as the nose on your face. Kevin battles the bad guys and saves Christmas for not only the owner of a great toy store but also for sick children who'll benefit from the toy store's financial donations. Unlike the first film, though, it would seem that Kevin is truly playing for keeps this time, devising booby traps of true sophistication that the viewer can't help but gasp in excitement everytime Harry and Marv get what's painfully coming to them. No real men could ever get up and walk away from some of the hits and falls these two guys take from Kevin. But, hey, suspension of disbelief is what some movies are all about. I should also point out that this film features Tim Curry as the Plaza Hotel concierge in one of the funniest, silliest roles I've ever seen him in and am ever likely to see him in. The great "Dr. Frank N. Furter" DOES know how to make me laugh sometimes!

And so, to those who love HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK as I do and to those who will forgive me for not being too crazy about HOME ALONE, I bid you Merry August!

Favorite line or dialogue:

Gangster Johnny on TV: "Get down on your knees and tell me you love me!"
Mr. Hector: "Um, everybody, on your knees...I love you."
Gangster Johnny on TV: "You gotta do better than that!"
Mr. Hector and the other hotel staff: [all together] "I love you!"

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