Film Review: Home Sweet Home Alone

Home Sweet Home AloneHome Sweet Home Alone is a 2021 Disney+ exclusive released on November 12, 2021. It stars Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Rob Delaney, and Archie Yates in the three main roles. This is technically the 6th film in the popular Home Alone series of films. It claims to be based on a story by John Hughes, Mikey Day and Srteeter Seidell.

Pam and Jeff McKenzie have decided to sell their home in Illinois to help pay the bills. Well, it seems Pam is on board but Jeff is trying to sabotage their open house with prospective buyers. Meanwhile, Max (Yates) and his mom Carol (Aisling Bea) are on their way home when Max needs to desperately use the restroom. She spies the open house sign and makes a bee-line for the house where her son can use the restroom in the guise of looking to buy the house. As Jeff is going through items in the house, Carol tells Jeff about seeing an antique TV show where some ugly dolls like the ones he inherited went for thousands of dollars. Mom and son leave the house and head back to their own where their extended family has gathered to prepare for a family Christmas trip to Tokyo.

Max can’t seem to get any quiet time to himself, so he goes into the garage and falls asleep in the family’s SUV. Meanwhile, Jeff looks up the price of the doll on an online auction site and discovers it is extremely rare and going for over $200,000. Jeff discovers the doll is missing and finds the address of the McKenzie home, arriving just as the family is rushing to get to the airport.

Max wakes up and discovers he is “home alone” and immediately takes advantage by making himself a lot of unhealthy meals and watching TV while wreaking havoc throughout the home. Pam and Jeff decide they will try and break into the home to retrieve the stolen doll, figuring it was stolen from them to begin with. Max’s family finally notices him missing, but getting home from Tokyo is proving difficult.

Meanwhile Max, after thwarting Pam and Jeff once, begins setting a bunch of traps throughout the home to fend off the “burglars.” Just when all seems lost, they have a heart-to-heart talk with Max and tell him they aren’t trying to kidnap HIM, they are looking for the doll. He then tells the couple he is home alone. They take the boy to their house where Jeff’s brother, wife, and autistic son are staying for the holidays. Their son appears from his room at the top of the stairs with the doll and flings it into the air. Max catches it before it crashes to the ground and the McKenzie’s are able to keep their home.

If the plot sounds familiar, that’s because it is. All TOO familiar. Just when you thought the film series as dead and buried, being revived as a streaming-only film is painful to watch. What made the original film, and largely the second, was the endearing portrayal of Kevin McCallister first being innocent and timid and morphing into a strong defender of the home. In the original, we were rooting for Kevin. In this film, we definitely aren’t rooting for Max. In fact, as an adult, I was rooting more for Jeff and Pam since I know $200,000 would go a long way.

Devin Ratray, who portrayed Buzz in the original Home Alone films makes a cameo as a home security officer, but that is the extent of a tie-in to the original film. In fact, one of the characters makes a comment while watching a movie “This is garbage, why are they always trying to remake the classics.”

Why, indeed. My suggestion: skip it. Even if you subscribe to Disney+, it is not worth your time or brain cells.

You can find Home Sweet Home Alone on Disney+.

  • Home Sweet Home Alone

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