Why oh why do studios persist with endless remakes? You know what made these movies successful in the first place? The fact that they were new, something different, fresh, not because it was a remake of an existing movie.
I can’t promise more rants in the review of the Disney+ new Christmas movie, Home Sweet Home Alone, which is, for all intents and purposes, a remake/reboot/rip-off of Home Alone.
The twist, because there has to be something even a little bit different, is that the ‘bad guys’ are actually good, just a couple who make a mistake.
That couple are Pam, Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (TV)”, “The Office (TV)”), and husband Jeff, Rob Delaney (“Birdgirl (TV)”, “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw”).
They’re selling their home, reluctantly, as they can no longer afford it on Pam’s teaching wages alone and Jeff is struggling to find work at the moment. They haven’t, for reasons I’m not clear on, told their kids they’re selling the family home though.
At one open day the couple are visited by Carol, Aisling Bea (“This Way Up (TV)”, “Finding Joy (TV)”), and her, ahem, adorable child Max, Archie Yates (“Jojo Rabbit”, “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory (TV)”). They aren’t interested in the house, it’s just that Max needs the toilet.
As Jeff is clearing out a closet, he pulls some dolls out and Carol notices them and enquiries if they’re a Schneider Kinder, because she saw one sell on an antiques program for thousands of dollars. Jeff doesn’t have any clue, but something in Max’s eye tells us he’s heard everything.
Fast forward and, as we’ve seen before, Carol and her extended family are getting ready for a holiday, this time to Tokyo. The house, as we’ve seen before, is manic and Max decides to take himself into the garage to watch cartoons in the car, and then falls asleep.
Jeff meanwhile, looks into the rare doll on eBay and finds that it’s one of only ten made, a mistake, and there’s one currently selling for over $200,000. He immediately looks for it, but it’s gone and he jumps to Max and Carol having taken it.
Max wakes to find himself home alone and we get a montage, as we’ve seen before, of him eating sugary food, playing computer games, dressing up, playing with toys etc etc.
Jeff, and now Pam who is in on the whole thing, decide to go and get the doll back from Max and here, as we’ve seen before, they go through all the traps that have been set by Max throughout the house.
And when I say, ‘as we’ve seen before’, I really mean it. Everything looks familiar. I mean, I’m sure someone could have come up with some new traps and comedy moments, but no.
In the end, did Max take the doll? Will Carol get home from Tokyo? Will Max have Christmas alone and can Jeff and Pam get the doll back to sell and stay in their beloved family home. All these questions and more, you won’t care about.
We get a cameo from Devin Ratray, the original Buzz McCallister from the original Home Alone. He turns up as a cop and there’s even mention of Kevin too, of course, we don’t see him, as if.
There’s nothing new here though, there’s none of the charm and cheekiness of the original Home Alone, none of the threat from two ‘bad guys’ breaking in.
It’s all been watered down, any sense of fun has been washed away, as if the Wet Bandits have already been in and done a number on it.
I think one of the characters sums it up best when he says, “I don’t know why they’re always trying to remake the classics, never as good as the original”.
12th November 2021
THE QUICK SELL
A married couple tries to steal back a valuable heirloom from a troublesome kid in this reboot/remake of the classic Home Alone movie.