Director: Dan Mazer
Writers: Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell
Starring: Archie Yates, Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson, Ally Maki, Pete Holmes, and Chris Parnell
It’s been thirty-one years since the first Home Alone came out, somehow there’s now six films in the series, although the first two are the only films worth watching. Home Sweet Home Alone has premiered on Disney+, acting as both a reboot and a sequel to the originals. The first one is such a classic, that it’s impossible for the new one to live up to it, despite its best efforts. Surprisingly, there’s still fun to be had in one of the least anticipated reboots of all time.
Pam (Ellie Kemper) and Jeff (Rob Delaney) are holding an open house. They don’t want to sell, but due to some bad luck they don’t really have a choice. Max (Archie Yates) and his mother go to the open house, purely so Max can go to the bathroom, while he’s there he takes an interest in a doll that was once Jeff’s mother’s. Jeff later finds out that the doll is worth upwards of $200,000 and could solve all their problems, except it’s missing. Suspecting that Max took the doll he goes to visit Max’s house, to find the family has left for Christmas. He and Pam decide to break in and take the doll back, not realising that Max was left home alone.
It would be so easy to dismiss this film as a pointless remake with no redeeming qualities before you’ve already seen it. No one was really asking for a new Home Alone film, most of the sequels have been poor, and it doesn’t feature Macaulay Culkin in it at all, even as a cameo. If you do it down to watch it, then there’s still some fun to be had. Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney are really funny together, with their strange characters. Pam is weird and intense, and some of her facial expressions are laugh out loud funny. When they are both on screen together, the film really shines.
The slapstick comedy is also in full force, especially with the traps towards the end. It’s insane, over the top and exactly what you would want from a Home Alone film. The difference between this one and the original is the motive of the robbers feels a lot more relatable and you get behind them and want them to succeed. They’re the most likable characters in the story and while they obviously take things to far, they feel more like the heroes than the original robbers did.
Beyond Pam and Jeff, the rest of the characters are insufferable. The opening scene shows Max, the supposed hero, as the most annoying child imaginable. You would completely imagine that his family would want to leave him behind. The rest of Max’s family are also really irritating, almost every time they are on screen. It’s supposed to be funny, but they are just grating to watch. Max is a snarky, rude, and selfish child, who wishes to spend Christmas and that wish is granted.
Home Sweet Home Alone has a joke in it that remakes are never as good as the originals, and it’s not. There’s still some funny moments, and it is fun for the whole family. It’s silly, extreme and has some great jokes. Ellie Kemper is the best thing about it, and it’s worth watching just for her. There’s also a nice nod to the original with Devin Ratray reprising his role as Buzz McCallister from the original films.
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