Home Alone 2: A Review...sort of...

If you didn’t have a chance to read Alan’s post yesterday, you should here:

I, like Alan, don’t really love or hate Home Alone, but it does have a sense of nostalgia. I have to admit that I was 15 years old when Home Alone came out and honestly I could have cared less about it. I always found Macaulay Culkin irritating. I didn’t even watch Home Alone until this year. There I said it. Before this year I hadn’t ever watched this movie. Scandalous isn't it?

But as an adult, I put my own ideas and opinions on hold so that my daughter could watch it. What I soon realized is that the language contained within both Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is not appropriate for my seven year-old daughter. However, this gave us something to discuss and was really a teachable moment…who knew?

My daughter really wanted to watch Home Alone 2 after seeing the first movie as there was something she loved about the movie. I thought it was the fact that Kevin (Culkin) gets left alone and virtually has no rules for the entire time that his parents are sans child in Paris and Florida. But no it isn’t really Kevin on his own that she likes; it is the roles of Harry and Marv played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Let’s face it; they are brilliant in their execution of physical humour.

Like the first Home Alone, Kevin outsmarts and outplays the two thieves and puts them through the rigor of paint cans smashing them in the face; nail guns nailing their limbs; electrocution; and falling from great heights. One is sure that these thieves shall surely die or at the very least, give up. I know I would if I was faced with the artillery that Kevin has mounted. As adults, we know that this is farcical and that we must suspend our disbelief to make it through the full run of the movie. But here is the great thing, kids don’t know any better and can fully enjoy the bashing and smashing and the electrocutions without thinking somewhere in the back of their minds, “this is totally unrealistic.” Kids are totally unfettered by the confines of adulthood. 

Most movies and Home Alone 2 is no exception; there is a meta message and that is family is important. Even though Kevin is sick of his older brother and wants to be alone for Christmas, we see him missing his family and really wanting to be with them. We also see Kevin befriend a homeless pigeon woman in Central Park and she reminds me of the pigeon woman in Mary Poppins and I am not sure if this was intended but through this relationship Kevin’s childish and sensitive side is shown. I like that he befriends this woman, even though, most people wouldn’t even give her a minute of their time. In return for his friendship and kindness, she helps him to foil the thieves one last time.

Although Home Alone 2: Lost in New York lacks realism such Kevin’s parents forgetting him again; Kevin’s ability to board a plane with a boarding pass for a flight that he isn’t booked on; booking a hotel room, checking in alone while using his dad’s credit card; wandering the streets of New York without real harm coming to him; and creating elaborate scenarios to use against the thieves, it is actually a pretty enjoyable Christmas movie to watch with your children. 

~Jennifer Ward

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