Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone (1990)

Culkin gets Stern with Pesci Burgulars

Back in 1990 no one had really heard of Macaulay Culkin, he'd been in a few movies but never the star and then "Home Alone" came along and all of a sudden this pale, young kid was the hottest property in Hollywood. I will also say that after a few movies where young Macaulay Culkin played a variety of annoyingly cute kids I tired of him along with all the press coverage which went along with the Culkin family. But never the less "Home Alone" still remains one of my favourite family Christmas movies and surprisingly has stood the test of time quite well, well at least better than the sequels have.

When Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin - Uncle Buck) wakes up having being sent to the attic for being naughty he discovers his Christmas wish has come true, his huge family have disappeared, or at least gone off on holiday thinking he is with them. All alone and with the family home to himself he takes full advantage of no bullying brothers and nagging parents to spoil his fun but learns some important lessons to do with independence, family and responsibility having to defend the home against Harry (Joe Pesci - Lethal Weapon 2) and Marv (Daniel Stern - The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson) two bungling burglars known as the wet bandits.

Joe Pesci as Harry in Home Alone (1990)

"Home Alone" focuses on young Kevin McAllister as he gets the run of the house in his parent's absence, and although it starts out as fun, it soon turns sour as he comes up against Harry and Marv, and he finally realises that he actually wants his family back. It was a massive hit on its release, and to be honest it is still as enjoyable to watch today as it was back then. Even if you feel that Macaulay Culkin was at one point one of the most annoying things to have come out of Hollywood, there is so much more to "Home Alone" than his sickly sweet cuteness.

Firstly you have 2 brilliant comedy performances from Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv as The Wet Bandits, but secondly you have the cartoon strip style comedy which reminds you of Tom and Jerry as Kevin defends his home with various booby traps. Too be honest the plot is very simple, but when you remember that this is quintessentially a kids movie, then it is more than adequate and allows for the young audience to fantasise about getting the run of their own home. I can just imagine how many kids who watched this wanted to try sledging down their stairs, I know I did and I wasn't a kid when I first watched "Home Alone".

In the lead role of 8-year old Kevin McAllister is Macaulay Culkin and undeniably this is the movie which shot him too stardom. Although I'd like to, you really can't knock Macaulay's performance, as he comes across as loveable and cute, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", that Culkin became more annoying that cute.

Opposite Culkin you have two great comic talents of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv the Wet Bandits. Firstly, Joe Pesci plays Harry the brains behind the two man team and in my opinion the more sinister of the two, if that is really possible in this film. Then you have Daniel Stern as Marv, not the brightest of burglars. Stern comes across as a cartoon character right out of a Wylie Coyote cartoon; I honestly couldn't stop myself laughing whenever he was on screen. The rest of the cast put in more than adequate performances with the likes of John Heard and Catherine O'Hara headlining the supporting cast along with John Candy putting in an enjoyable performance as the Polka band leader.

"Home Alone" is written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus and between them have created one of the most enjoyable and successful kids movies in history. The whole movie really gels really well, from the plot to the performances and onto the cinematography. All of this is down to the creative and directional talents of Hughes and Columbus. As the film is set over the festive period, it typically has a very festive soundtrack, which includes the songs "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Santa Claus is comin' to Town".

What this all boils down to is that "Home Alone" is undoubtedly one of the most profitable and popular movies of all time. It's got nothing to do with amazing plots, special effects or Oscar winning performances. It's purely down to it being a very enjoyable and light hearted film, which appeals to a wider audience than what it was intended for. Even now in my 30s, I still enjoy watching "Home Alone" as it is a bit of harmless fun, and makes a change from some of the dire movies that are coming out right now.

Tags: Christmas Movies