Run Time: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Family
Home Sweet Home Alone follows two families: Max and his mother, and Pam and Jeff. The storylines of these two families converge when Max and his mother visit Pam and Jeff’s house, as the couple hosts an open house. After their encounter, Jeff notices that a doll belonging to his mother is missing and assumes that Max stole this doll. Jeff then proceeds to visit Max in search of the doll.
Home Sweet Home Alone has 3 main characters, Max, Pam, and Jeff. Max is a scheming young boy who gets left home alone. Pam and Jeff are our “thieves” in this movie, but are really just misinformed people. They are going through a tough time financially, and losing the one thing that could save their kids’ childhood home pushes them across the line.
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Now I know Home Sweet Home Alone is getting some pretty awful reviews right, including one just below this one *Cough**Cough*, but I didn’t think it was all that bad. The characters were pretty decent, even if the plot was really thin. Max was a really good fit for the “Kevin” role, and although we don’t see any true criminals in this one, Jeff and Pam are pretty likeable as well. We see them grow and change over the course of the movie, and while it wasn’t anything groundbreaking, I didn’t watch this movie for character development or any of that. I watched it to see someone fall down some stairs, get hit with a bag of sugar, maybe some thumbtacks or something. And that is exactly what we got. Home Sweet Home Alone may not have the greatest of plots, but it’s pretty darn funny.
Why we had to pair a group of good guys, against another good guy, is beyond me. That part takes a little bit of wind out of the sails of this movie. I really liked that it wasn’t regurgitation of Home Alone, but it was a little bit confusing as to who you were rooting for in the grand scheme of things. I still thought all of the traps were really cool, and watching them being executed was super funny. The actually plot behind the movie is pretty bad, borderline pointless. For an hour and a half movie, we get pretty much nowhere, and it was a little bit disappointing see as Home Alone had a pretty extensive plot. Home Sweet Home Alone focused more on the heist than the fact Max was home alone, and that stole from the movie in a big way.
Honestly, this isn’t that bad. It’s watchable, it’s funny, and you are gonna enjoy it with the family. It won’t be your favourite movie ever, and it isn’t even close to the original, but if you are looking for a goofy Christmas movie to start the season, I’d give this one a run.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was the fence climbing scene. It was situationally really funny, climbing the fence was quite a struggle, and then to find out their was a gate made it even better. Further, finding out they were at the wrong house made it one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie.
Now to start off I will say that the original Home Alone is one of my favourite Christmas movies and so I know that this movie had more to live up to than some. This film is okay in my opinion, not great, and not God awful just okay. To start with what I liked, of course, I enjoyed all the callbacks to the original film with some characters, scenes, and musical choices that harken back to that beloved classic and I was a sucker for it. I also thought all the actors did a good job with what they were given and they were all likeable. I also did think this film did have a good Christmas vibe and with the houses and the snow, it did put me in that mood that I love from Christmas movies. Now for my negatives, I felt that the film wasn’t funny for large chunks of the film. Don’t get me wrong this film definitely could be funny but for certain parts, it just didn’t crack me up like I was expecting. My other major criticism is that I felt that this film made the “thieves” too sympathetic since a lot of the movie follows them which makes it less enjoyable to watch them get hurt than it was watching Harry and Marv in the original. The traps were pretty funny though I thought some felt the traps were too mean-spirited but again this could be because the “thieves weren’t even really criminals and so I felt bad. With that, the film felt less sincere than the original film and much crueler with the way it handled the plot with even the reunion with the mom not having the same impact. The film was only 1h35 and well that’s not that short the movie felt short and the original which was only like 10 minutes longer felt like it did so much more with its runtime.
All in all, this was an okay film, I enjoyed watching it and if you’re looking for a new movie to put you in the Christmas spirit this will do it. Still, if it’s a choice between this and the original I’m recommending go watch the original all the way. So, hop on Disney Plus and give this a whirl.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My Favourite Moment was probably when Max made Jeff and Pam slip on the ice because it was a classic Home Alone trap that I appreciated.
Home Sweet Home Alone was bad. That’s that. There isn’t much more to say about it. Of course, I’ll give some more of my thoughts, but if you’ve watched any other Home Alone movie, then this movie doesn’t hold a candle to the original. If it wasn’t for a few nice references to past movies, then this movie didn’t have to exist, and the world wouldn’t change.
Now, contrary to my usual style, I’m going to reveal the only good thing about this movie, and that’s the references to past movies. That’s it. I enjoyed the small nods, and those were the only moments where I actually paid attention and wasn’t cringing from the movie.
Alright, now for the negatives, and this is going to be rough. First things first, the characters aren’t good at all. Nothing redeemable is found. Honestly speaking, the leads were quite boring to watch. There weren’t any moments where I enjoyed the characters. If anything, I found it hard to tolerate them. The dialogue was weird as well. Seeing Jeff and Pam attempt to use modern slang was cringy, and it was hard to watch. Honestly, the whole movie is cringy. Besides the characters, even the plot was bad. Compared to the first movie, the villains made sense. In this movie, the plot just doesn’t make sense. And because of the way the plot is set up, it affected the characters in turn. All in all, the foundation for this movie sucked.
I think the next point that I didn’t like was the whole atmosphere of the movie. The first Home Alone movie was fun and cheerful. Home Sweet Home Alone had a sinister vibe to it. The traps set by Max seem overly cruel. In the first movie, you can argue the robbers deserved it since they were actually robbing the house, but in this movie, both parties did something wrong. Everything just felt off.
There’s probably a lot more I could write about this movie, but I don’t want to make this review too long. If you’re expecting this movie to be like the others in the series, don’t because it doesn’t capture that same feeling. Even as a standalone movie, it’s a hard pass for me.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was when the movie got meta and called itself out. When Jeff’s brother asked why people make sequels when they don’t need them, that probably gave me my biggest laugh throughout the movie.