Friday, November 20, 2015

Home Alone - A Classic

The family and I recently went to a limited showing of Home Alone in the theaters. It was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the movie. But for us, it was a celebration of family time as we enjoyed one of our favorite Christmas movies.

We weren't the only ones in the theater but it was surprisingly empty. The small theater was maybe 25% full and most of the viewers were older, like my wife and I, putting them in the age-range of having seen it in the theaters as children when it was first released. Our favorite fans in the screening with us were the family of four that wore matching shirts that read "Merry Christmas You Filthy Animal," but in different colors of course.

As we sat down to enjoy the show, there were no previews. I really wish they had shown something like Rocky V, Look Who's Talking Too, or even Kindergarten Cop. Something from that era of the early 90s that would have set the tone for a great movie.

I think the lack of media coverage was due to everyone focusing on Back to the Future Day. Or maybe they were hungover or overdosed with nostalgia to think of another classic having an anniversary. Thankfully, I read the USA Today article, found a local theater, and bought tickets. THe rest, as they say, was history.

The most I got out of the showing, besides the family time, was catching some of the scenes and dialog that I missed after all these years. So let's walk through them.

The man at the desk.
In a great camera shot, we see Joe Pesci ask for the parents of the house by seemingly talking to every kid that walks by him. But did you notice the guy at the desk in the background? In the same window where we see the lamp move near the end of the movie, there's a man, sitting in a chair, at what looks like a desk. Who is it? Uncle Frank is my guess. He looks a little bald and is wearing a sweater vest.

"You probably have the kind of traveler's checks that don't work in France."
I remember the scene distinctly, it's when Buzz chokes on the pizza in the kitchen. And I remember them trying to get money to pay the pizza boy. And I remember Uncle Frank claiming he had no cash, just traveler's checks. But I've never heard this line before. It's in there, but it's in the background, hard to hear, and I think Peter, the dad, says it under his breath a bit.

Was Kevin's mom a seamstress?
Check out the basement. Notice all the mannequins? You may remember Kevin using them in his first attempt to deter Harry and Marv from breaking into the house by hosting a fake party. But I never really paid attention to where they came from. Then my wife mentioned that the sewing machine in the Master Bedroom was older than the sewing machine in the basement. Which got me to thinking, was Kevin's mom a seamstress? There are mannequins, sewing machines, and even a dressmaker's mannequin in the house.

Marv swears.
Again, I knew this. But in the theater, it was much easier to hear. Sure, Harry says some stuff that sounds like swearing, but it actually isn't. And Kevin says "ass" at least once. But it's the Marv scene that stood out. If you're not sure of the scene I'm talking about, it's when Marv checks out the kitchen door by himself, sticks his foot in the dog door, then looses his shoe. He says "shit" but you can't hear it clearly on the DVD. It's pretty clear in the theater.

The deeper link between Kevin and his neighbor.
It never dawned on me before, but there's a deeper link between Kevin and his neighbor, Old Man Marley (aka The South Bend Shovel Slayer). It hit me when they were in the church talking before Kevin heads home to defend his house. Kevin admits to saying things he shouldn't have and thinks that it has driven his family away. Mr. Marley then goes on to admit essentially the same thing. They have the same family issue and I never noticed it before. I always glossed over this scene because it was light on action and only had a few good jokes.

Old people as friends.
About the same time I caught on to the link between Kevin and Mr. Marley, I realized that in the second movie he befriends an older woman. Not much else to say here but thatjordangirl has a nice image to share.

The lamp moves.
I knew about this one. So did my kids. But did you? Check out the last scene or two from the movie where Kevin greets his mom and the rest of his family. In the background you see the lamp in front of the window. Then as he goes to the window to look at his neighbor, The South Bend Shovel Slayer, the lamp has moved.

This wasn't really a scene from the movie itself, but a scene in the theater. The audience was laughing at something, there was that lull in the laughter, and my son says, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, "Classic!" Indeed it was son, indeed it was.

Not only was the movie a classic, but his reaction and the experience is classic. I can only hope your holiday season brings about positive memories and scenes to remember for years to come.

1 comment:

John Zeleznik said...

I was actually looking at a blog post from last year about being a Silver Bell in the school Christmas pageant and thinking about trying it out as a chapter book for kids. I'm having a hard time adapting it but I think I can manage it a little. "Johnny Pepperoni's Silver Bells" or something like that.