Home Alone 3: The Quest for Answers

Before we get to the meat'n'potatoes of today's whimsical journey, let me preface by saying that I know there was actually a Home Alone 3 (and even a dreaded Home Alone 4,) but that I choose to ignore its existence. Home Alone 3 is as much a part of the Home Alone series, in my mind, as Halloween 3 was a part of the Halloween series. In a word: getthisgarbageoffmytvandbringmeamartini.

Anyway, Home Alone!

Home. Freaking. Alone. Home Alone 1 & 2 are both huge traditions in my holiday season. The music, the shenanigans, the nostalgia... it's just not Christmas without little Kevin McAllister overcoming the odds and learning valuable life lessons about family, responsibility and dental hygiene.

To be honest, I've watched both of them an embarrassing number of times over the past several weeks. In doing so, I've noticed a few things between the two movies that don't quite add up for me. Let's observe, shall we?

#5. How much frickin' pizza to you people need?

In the early scenes of Home Alone 1, the McAllister clan is bustling around getting ready for their trip to Paris. They've ordered pizza, which is sensible, since they have likely used most of their perishables in preparation, and who wants to cook and clean with an early flight in the morning?


There are 15 people in the house. 4 adults, 4(ish) teenagers, and 7 children. I'm guestimating here, since they never really disclose anyone's age but Kevin's.

Regardless... while teenagers can certainly pack away the pizza, and Uncle Frank presumably goes ape shit over free food.. 10 pizzas for 15 people seems a little extreme.That's almost a full pie for each person.

Math time!

It doesn't sound like a lot at a glance, but when you reflect on the characters, most of them don't look like they regularly consume 5.3 slices of pizza at one sitting.

 I said most of them.

The parents are fit, and most of their skinny children look under the age of 14. Some of them are even downright tiny, and have presumably filled themselves up on Pepsi to begin with.

This is way too much pizza, McAllisters. You look like you can afford to waste it, what with that big fancy house and whatnot, but since Catherine O'Hara was bitching about several ounces of milk going bad, it just seems a bit contradictory and hypocritical. There are starving people sitting in front of my computer typing this blog who could have eaten what you undoubtedly threw out.

Speaking of pizza...

#4. What the fuck, Pizza Guy?

This one really doesn't take a lot of explanation. In fact, it can be summed up with a simple quiz:

You deliver pizzas. You arrive at a house where you are verbally threatened, and are seemingly fired at with an automatic weapon by a deranged pizza customer. He laughs maniacally as you run for your life. Do you,

A.) Call the cops.
B.) Call the cops.
D.) Run away and never speak of this again, despite the fact that aforementioned deranged pizza customer knows where you work, and possibly what you look like and drive.

Before you pick the obvious one... pick one of the other three. The cops never came to investigate the disturbance/assault, so it's safe to assume Derp the Pizza Guy never reported it, which makes no fucking sense.

Then again, it wouldn't have necessarily mattered if he had reported it....

#3. The worst police department on the planet 

Having never been on "The Force" myself, I can't say that I'm terribly familiar with all of the ins and outs of police procedure. What I know about cops, generally speaking, can be counted on one hand.
1.) They like donuts.
2.) The cars they drive are getting sneakier, and I don't appreciate it.
3.) They love pepper spray.

However, despite my limited knowledge, I feel comfortable in my assertion that these cops are fucking terrible.

Lack of social skills and sensitivity training aside, there is not a police scene in the whole movie where the cops in the McAllister neighborhood aren't dropping the ball. Even at the end, when they catch the bad guys, they fail to question, or even locate, any of the neighbors or witnesses. This really isn't surprising, considering how they reacted to the request depicted above.

Definitely some holes in that procedure, Sarge.

But before we go blaming the police department for all of these shenanigans, let's not forget the real culprit:

#2. The magical bond between mother and what's-his-face.

Aside from the fact that she lost track of her son, during the holidays, twice, after taunting and provoking him into wish for that very fate, Kate McAllister isn't really a bad mom. She is (supposedly) very conscious about wasting milk, provides for all her children in a beautiful home, attends their school concerts, and frequently takes (most of) them on extravagant vacations. In fact, she cares so deeply for her children that she can sense their thoughts and feelings in an almost supernatural way.

So... you have this incredible mother-son bond... and yet, you didn't notice until somewhere over the Atlantic that you left your son at home? And the second time around, you didn't insist to the flight attendant that you supervise everyone getting onto the plane, because you learned your lesson about terrible parenting last year? I'm calling shenanigans, Kate. I think the only incredible bond you have with your son lies within the fact that you still have custody after all of this. 

Oh, and I know I keep coming back to the milk thing, but it's not just because she cried about it pre-vacation. Let's take a step back to the first movie, when everyone's reunited. Not even two minutes after the entire family is home again, what does she do?

The last thing on my mind after a reunion like this would be milk.... but not Kate McAllister. It's bizarre enough that part of me wonders if this was all intentional, just so she could have her son's face on her favorite dairy product.

Last, but certainly not least:

#1. So, about those plane tickets....

Aside from bungling burglars and wacky Christmas capers,  another big plot point in the first Home Alone movie revolves around Kate McAllister's inability to book a flight back to Chi-town to reunite with her son. Pretty solid plot, considering typical travel difficulties during the Christmas season. The lack of available flights eventually lands her in a 12-hour, Scranton to Chicago van ride with a gaggle of traveling polka hobos, which, in my humble opinion, isn't quite the level of karmic payback one deserves for stranding a child home alone. It's a good start, though. 

So riddle me this: If it took ol' Kate McAllister the whole freaking' movie to book a flight -- a flight which could only get her within 703 miles of her home, mind you -- Then how the fuck did they manage to book not one, but fourteen flights at the drop of a hat in the second movie? 

Now, don't get me wrong-- None of this is going to make me stop loving the crap out of Home Alone, shameful though this love may be. I just couldn't resist pointing out some of the inconsistencies and shortcomings. Call it a Christmas gift from me, to me. 

Anywhoser, I'm off to the whimsical land of Parents' House for the next week or so. Here's hoping your holidays are merry and/or bright! Thank you for reading, and I'll see you in the New Year! (Or maybe before, if I'm not sluggish with Christmas cookies, which I probably will be.)



lily said...

You never EVER fail to make me laugh!

Happy Holidays and have a fantastic New Year!

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard at this. You made some very solid points.