(Just a single rule: mix-tape-style, no more than one film per director. You know, because otherwise the whole thing would be pointless.)
(#45) Home Alone
Comedy • dir. Chris Columbus • 1990 • USA
George’s Marvellous Medicine was one of many Roald Dahl books I couldn’t read fast enough as a young boy. Its plot and its characters, however, have long since faded from memory. There was some kid – possibly one like me – called George and, sure enough, he wanted to make a marvellous medicine (I don’t recall why or for whom). No matter, what I really do remember is how forcefully I wanted to follow young George’s experimental lead. It seemed like the most fun a boy could ever hope to have: a wild, pioneering quest of great import. I wanted AT ONCE to grab and mix together every liquid thing in the house – boldly, but with great trepidation too. What if my marvellous concoction bubbles over? What if it fizzes! What if it pops! What if it turns jet black… or melts my crucial wooden stirring spoon! What then?
As an even younger boy, I gotta tell you my bunk-bed at bedtime positively was a spaceship. And I was its captain – my crew down below – hurling through the galaxies on far-ranging, top-secret missions. (Snoopy always my trusted confidant and loyal number two.) All of which is to say: surely the great shame of adulthood is slowly forgetting what it’s like to be a kid. Behold the ruins of a once-great imagination… Now try thinking about your responsibilities for a second without sighing. Remember how exciting it was the first you stayed up past midnight, or how thrilling Christmas Day used to be? Just barely, I do. With any luck I’ll also keep on remembering how much the nine-year-old me loved Home Alone. I would have given up almost anything (not Snoopy, nor mum and dad, but probably a sibling or two) to be Macaulay Culkin. To be, like him in Home Alone, a professional show-off, running around, larking around, and getting up to all sorts of crazy mischief. Because that’s the other thing about adulthood: not enough crazy mischief.