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Home Alone at 30: How Did the Incredible Christmas Comedy Endure? Comedy movies

to The news of Disney’s plans to produce a remake of the holiday classic “Home Alone”, the director of the original article Chris Columbus had words sharper than a barefoot toy. “It’s a waste of time for me,” Columbus said in a recent interview with Insider on the 30th anniversary of the film̵

7;s release. “What’s the point? I firmly believe that you don’t remake movies that have had longevity” Home Alone. You won’t create lightning in a bottle again. It just won’t happen. “

Leaving aside the fact that he himself tried to turn that lightning bolt by stopping Kevin McCallister’s pint-sized Mantley Culkin in New York for a sequel, Columbus is right. On paper, the $ 476 million cash register shouldn’t be anything special. The room is not much more complicated than the fact that a child’s parents go on Christmas vacation without him, noticing that they have forgotten him, and then go home. And while everyone loves hyper-violent hijinks, the script retains the main event for the last 30 minutes, hanging out with young Kevin for about an hour before he has to repel the attacks of bandits Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The following decades proved that Columbus was not a great shaker as a film artist, his more notable achievements limited to Mrs. Doubtfire and the two weakest Harry Potter films. At different times and places, with different staff, with little difference in wind blowing, it would have the same impact as any other Yuletide lightweight confection.

And yet there is something warm indelible in Kevin’s involuntary stay – a feeling due to the accidental collaboration between 10-year-old star Culkin and screenwriter John Hughes. The maestro from the teen film of the 80’s came up with the concept for the script with all the imagination of Jerry Seinfeld, who makes tight fives during an air trip. “I went on vacation and made a list of everything I didn’t want to forget,” he explained in an interview with Time. I thought, “Well, I better not forget my kids.” Then I thought, What if I leave my 10-year-old son at home? What would you do? “In the hands of the usual hacks that run today’s children’s cinema, it might have been a sweet sight to a hooligan living unattended, but Hughes always shone the brightest, reducing the distance between being a child and growing up.

His high school creations fell between their last youth and the earliest dangerous brushes in adulthood, a tension shifted here to Kevin’s age group. Like Ferris Buhler before him, Kevin sees the lack of supervision as a chance to enjoy the finer things that the rest of the world says he’s not old enough. Without mom and dad around to keep up his style, he gets the classic Hughesian first taste of sexuality, except that young Kevin reacts with pre-adolescent disgust at the center of his big brother’s Playboy banned games. His impression of maturity is juvenile, sensible enough to know that homeowners have wine glasses with dinner and enough boys to fill him to the brim with milk. He knows that aftershave is something to use, but no matter how many times I hit him in the face, he is never ready for how bad it hurts.

The whole “kid who snuggles into his father’s big father’s shoes” can go so far, too sugary, to keep an entire movie without wearing skinny ones. Hughes managed to last 100 minutes thanks to the special talents of Macaulay Culkin, just hitting what the rising actor could not imagine will be the pinnacle of his fame. His difficulty establishing himself in Hollywood as an adult after his self-imposed acting break is due in part to how supernaturally good he was at achieving the perfect balance between speed and innocence. His image in the bathroom, with his hands clinging to either side of his screaming face like a caricature of Munch, was imprinted in the public mind.

Photo: Allstar / 20th Century Fox

In the role of Kevin, he is self-sufficient to comedy, challenging the cartoons of Road Runner and Wile E Coyote as he sets up his home full of torturous traps to repel the waiting offenders. Cute but capable, he knows how to sell his parents’ behavior and language without realizing that it only makes him look like a novelty. He is so factual that he repeats the ad he must have heard in the ad, his voice saying, “I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used a rinse cream for this freshly washed shine,” without knowing that nothing makes a child look younger than trying to sound older. The best he can do is absorb and parrot parts of the world around him, repeating the line “keep the change, dirty animal” after hearing it on TV in a gangster photo of Angels with dirty faces.

The emotional basis of the film is revealed when Kevin interrupts the act and succumbs to the parts of his personality that are still age-appropriate. For his incompletely formed mind, the mixing of the journey is the result of the monkey’s paw wanting never to see any of them again, one of those harmful things that children say without thinking about it. He is deadly from the real feeling that we are constantly in trouble while visiting the family, he takes over the home and the plot serves to remind him (really everyone) how much we value the people who drive us crazy. A sentimental plot in which Kevin helps his neighbor connect with the man’s astonished son, not surprisingly, this was added to the screenplay by Hughes of Columbus, who thought the film needed more heart, but the message remained the same. Even if the relatives in the city create stress for the holidays, it also nourishes the soul. His mother, on her journey home with a regimental-led group of John Pondi, accepts the wisdom associated with her that she must take care of the kindness of strangers, no matter how annoying.

Like Scrooge before him, Kevin’s troubles are erased in time for his replacement; when his mother, played by Catherine O’Hara, finally returns, Kevin runs with tears in her hands. Buying and learning lessons come along with the territory when a Christmas movie is made, collapsed here to a size understandable to all viewers. in the passing years. Every child has imagined their parents far away at some point, whether aloud or in private. Kevin just had the misfortune of making his wish come true, with the luck of being uniquely suited to the challenge. With Culkin’s deep eyes, familiar and expanded with naivety, and Hughes’s finely calibrated dialogue, a simple idea matured into the best possible version of himself. If this is not Christmas magic, what is?

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