Nostalgia Goggles: Watching Home Alone for the First Time
AKA: Wait, nobody told me this was a Christmas movie!!!
By Tahlia Merrill Kirk
Welcome to “The Nostalgia Goggles”, a series all about finding beloved movies from your childhood, that I have never seen. Are these movies actually as good as everyone says? Or are they only popular because of childhood nostalgia? I’m here to put them to the test.
My first victim is the classic 1990 film Home Alone. When I was growing up, Every. Single. Friend. I had adored this movie. It’s one of those generation defining movies, except that I somehow missed out (parents said something about the kid swearing and it being “dumb”…).
All I knew about Home Alone was that a kid plays pranks on two burglars who break into his house. Probably going to be a lot like Mousehunt…oh, wait, I’ve never seen that one either *adds it to the list*.
My First Impressions:
- Wait, is this a CHRISTMAS movie?!? Dangit, if I’d know THAT, I would have saved it for the holidays…whooops!
- Is that Danny Elfman music in the background? Ah, John Williams, I’m impressed…
- Let’s play “Spot the Objects Sure To Be Used In ‘Hilarious’ Hijinks Later”
- Fish hooks and Christmas ornaments mentioned
- BB Gun hanging on the wall
- Pet door (although, the family doesn’t have a cat or dog).
Two for the price of one!
- Laundry chute in the kitchen
- Lots and lots of stairs (2 outside + 1 basement + 1 main level + 1 attic = 5 total.)
- Huh, we’re halfway through the movie and so far only a few minor hijinks have occurred. Was expecting the burglars to break into the house by now, but so far, this is more about the kid learning to survive on his own. Kinda has a young suburban Robinson Crusoe vibe.
- Dear Home Alone, you CANNOT use The Drifters’ version of “White Christmas” in your movie because it has already been used in MY favorite 90s Christmas movie The Santa Clause…*checks internet*…bummer, The Santa Clause came out four years after Home Alone, so my accusations of copycatting are unfounded. Booooo! 🙁
The Santa Clause:
- Ah hah! The crazy capers have arrived. Wow, they really like to use the same jokes multiple times, don’t they? Oh, are we done already? Those scenes only lasted like 10 minutes!
My “How it should have ended” idea: Kevin’s mother spends the whole movie trying to get home to her son only to slip and kill herself on the stairs he so carefully iced the night before. I mean, if the burglars can’t even stand up on it safely, I have no clue how she managed it without supernatural powers.
Conclusion: I was fully prepared to shred this movie with my razor sharp criticism until it begged for mercy, but it actually wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t watch it again, but I can see why my childhood friends were so enamored by it back in the day. Considering that it’s a kid’s movie, it’s only occasionally dumb. Guess I’ll have to find an even worse “classic” to watch next time. Any suggestions???
P.S. When researching for this post, I stumbled upon this hilarious article by a real doctor about the injuries the burglars would have sustained after each prank: http://theweek.com/articles/469307/diagnosing-home-alone-burglars-injuries-professional-weighs