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Tis the season to indulge in binge-viewings of various Christmas classics, and for this movie fan, Home Alone and its sequel are two of them. Of course, it's hard not to watch Home Alone and Home Alone: Lost in New York and not ponder the great, unanswered mysteries of the films.
In fairness, both movies actually do a pretty good job of writing Kevin McAllister into the shenanigans that await him, and we're not here to nitpick major plot points like why no one but Kevin's parents try to get the police involved almost ever throughout both movies. Each movie needs a pass on some things in order for it to exist. But there are some nagging questions I just can't get around...
Why would Kevin be expected to pack his own suitcase?
In the first movie, Kevin's Aunt Leslie scoots Kevin off to go pack his suitcase, as though this is something a kid should have any business doing ahead of an international family vacation. It's no wonder Kevin's immediately stressed out. Now, if Aunt Leslie were an adult with no experience with young children, we might give her ridiculous order a pass, but she has four or five of her own. She should know better. Assuming Aunt Leslie told all of her kids to pack their own suitcases, I imagine Fuller's bringing a lot of Pepsi to France.
Speaking of which...
When did Fuller switch from Pepsi to Coke?
The Pepsi product-placement is awkwardly strong in Home Alone, as Kevin's small-bladdered cousin is seen chugging Pepsi, and Kevin frets over the state of his sheets if he's made to bunk up with him. So Fuller's shift to the other popular cola beverage is made all the more apparent in Home Alone 2 when he's seen downing Coca-Cola. I'm going to guess that Coke offered Home Alone 2 more money than Pepsi was willing to dole out. Bigger sequel, bigger budget, right?
Still, Fuller, you're kind of a sellout.
How did the McAllisters catch their flight?
Even in a pre-9/11 era where security was a bit less of an ordeal, the two-hour window of airport arrival to departure of flight wasn't quite as necessary. But the McAllisters had 45 minutes to get 13 people from a suburban-Chicago home to the airport terminal, by way of baggage (luggage check for at least 13 people), through security and to the gate. Even if there was no traffic and no lines anywhere, this seems improbable. Ok, we can see the point of the tight window, because if there's even a moment for that family to breathe between leaving the house and boarding the plane, someone might actually notice Kevin is not there. Still, 45 minutes, door-to-plane? No.
When did Santa's Elf become a flight attendant?
Never mind Fuller's switch from Pepsi to Coke. There was an even bigger adjustment between Home Alones 1 & 2. Remember Santa's Elf? The young woman who helpfully sends Kevin off to Santa's car to get his last-minute Christmas request in? Well, believe it or not, she returns in Home Alone: Lost in New York. This time she's working for an airline, and briefly seen attending to the boarding of the Miami flight. But wait, the plot thickens. Sandra Macat has just one other screen credit, and that's in Only the Lonely, the film Chris Columbus made between Home Alones. Her role? Stewardess.
I'm convinced there's a bigger story being told for this woman between these three movies.
Why doesn't Uncle Frank ever get what's coming to him?
Seriously. Uncle Frank outright calls Kevin a "little jerk" in front of his whole family, and not one person comes to Kevin's defense. He also makes some crude comment to Kevin about growing up not feeling like a real man, and all Peter McAllister does is sort of laugh off his brother's antics. Maybe the McAllisters are just used to Uncle Frank's douchiness, but if the rules of movie comedies apply, Frank was primed to get his comeuppance, if not in the first movie than in the second. And yet, it never happens.
Why does the whole auditorium laugh at Buzz's dumb candle prank, but not when the choir falls?
Kevin's in the middle of his solo when Buzz starts messing with the candles, playing the drum on his head and making his ears light up. Ha-ha. The audience of parents and family members thinks it's LOL-funny, despite a child being the butt of a joke in the middle of his solo. Kevin eventually turns and reflexively hits his brother, causing the choir to crumble like dominoes around him. Ok, auditorim: People falling over is FUNNY. And yet, the only person laughing at that point is Uncle Frank, who's probably still chuckling over how gall-darn hilarious Buzz's candle joke was.
Uncle Frank having a dim sense of humor, I get. But the rest of the audience seeing the candle thing as worthy of laughter, and not the collapse of the Christmas choir? Madness.
Does Kevin ever tell anyone what he did to his aunt and uncle's brownstone?
In Home Alone, Kevin somehow manages to get the whole house (sans Buzz's bedroom) cleaned up before the family gets home. We'll give that unlikeliness a pass, because movie-magic. But at the end of Home Alone 2, Kevin likely didn't have time to return to his aunt and uncle's apartment to clean up the mess he made of their, ok, already messy home. Tools all over the place. Green goop spilled everywhere. There's burning rope possibly lighting a fire on all of those paint and stain buckets. None of this seems to be a concern in the film's resolution. Granted, the house was in disarray when Kevin shimmied his way through that hose thing and set up shop there, but you'd think whoever's been renovating it would notice someone got in there and thoroughly trashed the place. So we're left to assume Kevin's aunt and uncle will be notified that vandals wrecked their mid-renovated home.
Who decides who gets all the presents?
At the end of Home Alone 2, Duncan's Toy Chest sends over a truckload of wrapped gifts to the McAllisters in their Plaza suite as a thank you to Kevin for protecting the store. Awesome. It's a true Christmas moment for the film. And yet, there's no explanation of how the presents will be doled out. Buzz takes the lead in handing Kevin the first gift, which he seems to pick at random. That almost seems like an act of generosity on Buzz's part, unless we consider that technically all of those gifts should be Kevin's. But what exactly happens after Kevin leaves to go give a turtle dove to the bird lady? We imagine chaos ensues because there's no way all of those brothers and sisters aren't fighting over who gets to keep what.
Do the McAllisters do anything ensure they don't lose Kevin again?
Leave your kid behind once, ok, accidents happen. Leave them behind a second time? You have more kids than you can feasibly look after and you need to come up with some system to keep tabs on all of them. Honestly, based on their house and the fact that they can afford a trip to Paris and Florida for seven people (not to mention a first class ticket to Europe for Mom and Dad), it's obvious the McAllisters are loaded. Hire a nanny. Or at least adopt an older sibling who can be relied upon to look after the younger ones, because the ones you have are useless.