We took our two children to see this 1990 movie and I loved it. I have always found Macauly Culkin annoying, but I loved the cast in this movie. This has strong character actors that really steal the movie. Catherine O’Hara, the best harried mom ever, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv, were sublime as burglars who met their match and John Candy as a polka king, brilliantly funny as always. Johns Hughes and Chris Columbus did great work together.
A friend of ours, who was an elementary school teacher at the time, thought this was a terrible movie and so disrespectful. I’m sure that had to do with the piano teacher at the Christmas choral program, being knocked out cold when Kevin (Culkin) and Buzz (Ratray) duke it out in the bleachers. I remember explaining to my kids after all the slap-stick abuse (like the flying bricks, etc.) that if that happened in real life, they would be in the hospital, unconscious or dead. I’m sure they were secretly saying, uh duh mom!
There is something sick about laughing when someone gets hurt and I didn’t want my kids to get the wrong message. We didn’t let our kids watch t.v. (only videos we o.k.’d) but this was so well done, and a great teaching moment for make believe vs. reality. It was just plain funny and typical of how adults underestimate the intellect of children. I loved the scary furnace and next door neighbor, and the phone conversation between Mrs. McCallister and the police is hilarious, when she discovers her son was left at home. Those moments plus many more, along with the great cast,is what made this a top notch movie for everyone. As of 2009 this was the biggest grossing comedy of all time.
The second version Lost in New York was pretty good as well. Surprisingly so, for a sequel. The magic of New York at Christmas was hard to resist and I’m sure the same cast helped carry it off, plus great sound tracks in both.
Lots of laughs but both have nice messages in the end, so it’s not so much a guilty pleasure.