31 Days of Christmas Movies Marathon: Day 22 – Home Alone 3

Welcome to my 31 Days of Christmas movie marathon.  This is a feature where I watch a different Christmas movie every day from now until Christmas.  The rules are simple: The movie has to be something I haven’t already seen and I must watch at least one Christmas-themed movie a day from now until December 25th.  They’ll be some bad ones and hopefully a lot of great ones.  Why put myself through this?  Because it’s a good way to catch up on a lot of Christmas movies and a good way to satisfy my OCD.

On the 22nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Home alone 3

For the longest time Home Alone has always been firmly rooted on my top 10 all time Christmas movies list.  I even enjoy the second installment enough to own and still watch from time to time.  Knowing that not one returning cast member had returned for part 3 and how poorly it was received I had no problem living the rest of my life having never seen this movie.  But, now that I’m putting myself through this crazy marathon, I figured why not finally give this movie a try.  The truth is, it’s not nearly as bad as I have been led to believe, yet it’s still not all that good.  Much the way Alien 4 and Godfather III get shat on all the time, yet if you watch them as stand alone movies, they’re really not that bad.

My main complaint with this movie is that it’s not even a Christmas movie!  This defeats my whole purpose of watching a Christmas movie marathon.  The only time Home Alone 3 hints at it being a Christmas movie is when a cab driver confesses to the soon-to-be home invaders about a house with a wreath and a Christmas tree in the driveway, and later on, a snippet of Dean Martin‘s ‘Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow’.  Okay, so it does take place in a snow covered winter setting, but that in itself does not make this a Christmas movie.  A winter movie, sure – but not a Christmas movie.

I already mentioned that the cast is entirely different, and I’m thankful for the writer (John Hughes) to have enough sense to re-write a new family instead of trying to trick the Home Alone fans into believing that were still watching the McCallisters.  This new family is more of a bizarro version of the McCallisters.  There’s the bullying older siblings (one of which is a 12-year-old Scarlett Johansson), a red haired mother, a big Chicago suburban house, a grouchy neighbor, and a lead protagonist suited with the exact same personality as Macaulay Culkin‘s Kevin.

No Home Alone entry would be complete without an assortment of kid-made booby-traps, to which this movie has plenty.  It is at this point in the movie where the hijinks ensue and laughs begin.  Needless to say, there were plenty of hijinks, yet the laughter was little.  I’m sure this was because I have seen all these things with slight variations happen in the first film, even the whack to the balls while one robber tries to hit a mouse off another robber’s crotch.  Home Alone 1 did the same gag, only with a spider.

The whole booby-trap set piece section of the film only works if the viewer is able to suspend disbelief – I wasn’t.  I had a lot of trouble getting on board with just how stupid these professional high-class thieves were when it came to invading a little kids house, whereas I didn’t have much trouble believing the crooks from the first 2 movies were stupid enough to fall into every booby trap laid out before them, because they’re characters were already developed as being a pair of idiotic nitwits.

For those who have never seen any of the Home Alone movies and are using this as an introductory into the Home Alone universe, if you don’t have any young kids to accompany you, or aren’t in the midst of an insane movie marathon, I don’t see why you would even bother watching this.  What made the first two movie so good were that there was something in them for everybody, not just the 7 – 11 year-olds.

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