This may be strictly a generation thing but no Christmas movie defined my childhood more than Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin was a hero to kids everywhere for being the coolest kid of the early 90's. Throw in one of the coolest, yet heartfelt directors of the era in John Hughes and Christmas isn't complete without a trip to the McAllister clan. If you don't agree, you're a filthy animal that should be shot - movie reference for the foolish.
Every year I heard about "A Christmas Story" but I never saw it til last year. It looked like one of those old school corny movies that was force-fed to later generations. At first I thought it was cheesy and corny as all else then a few more glances I saw why folks liked it. Had that Wonder Years vibe before Wonder Years came out. Nostalgia's a beautiful thing
But now that I think about it, watching it makes Home Alone look that much greater. Let's break it down. *OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT for the small few who ain't seen both*
- Kevin McCallister's a much better kid to be like. He held down the fort at home like a G, tricked out his house by himself to stop two robbers AND lived the life ever kid wanted. He looked smug and just like Bart Simpson that same year, he was the kid rebel who got plenty of love.
Did I mention the cooler gadgets in Home Alone 2? Nah I shouldn't, that'd just make it easier considering every kid I know wanted that Talkboy.
Ralphie? Some punk sissy who got picked on and made you feel sorry for him. Kids see him and say "Awwww poor kid." but they see Kevin and say "Awww, he's the man!" He looked like a dork and you couldn't believe he'd ever get his wish.....on that note.
But Ralphie gets cool points for beating the crap out of that bully. Just like Kevin tried to do with Buzz except Ralphie bloodied that punk up. Still a sissy most of the movie compared to Kevin.
(Even the photos let you know who could hold heat with respect)
- Kevin shot off BB guns with accuracy. He nailed Marv perfectly through the doggie door. Ralphie had to beg and beg for that BB gun and what did he do? Shot his eye out just like everyone said. You think kids liked watching that and thinking he was like us?
- Ralphie pretty much wished to do what Kevin actually do. Remember that dream scene of stopping burglars? Kevin actually did that. Who's cooler.
- Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as the burglars. John Candy cameo. Kevin's mom being frantic. Buzz as the older bro you loved to hate. C'mon man. Not even close in Home Alone. Did we even mention the Black and White movie that was more interesting that half of Christmas Story?
- Ralphie's Dad was pretty good, especially with that leg lamp. But nobody else stood out except the bullies.
More Points to Consider
- Best line of the movies. "oooooooooooooh fudge (but i didn't say Fudge)" vs. "You guys give up or are you thirsty for more."
Christmas Story was slow as heck to get going. I almost went to sleep watching it waiting for Ralphie to get that dang BBQ gun. Home Alone was fast-paced from the jump when they were rushing to get ready and Kevin bumrushed Buzz for that pizza.
John Hughes must have seen A Christmas Story and thought, "How can I update this and make it 10X cooler. I know! We focus on the kid being by himself but instead of him being scared, he takes control and looks totally cool while still reminding you he's 8 years old."
(Yeah, he knew full well he could make a better masterpiece)
Maybe it's a generation thing but for a classic, I expected to be more than just cutesy. Makes me appreciate the late Hughes a whole lot more for adding some flair, pizazz and cool to his movies.
If A Christmas Story is all about nostalgia, Home Alone looked to the future. It's a better movie that holds up in the recent climate and best believe while I sneak peeks at Christmas Story tomorrow, I'll be wishing for Kevin McCallister in Home Alone 1 and 2.
Let's give him the final word shall we? *loads up Tommy Gun*