Home Sweet Home Alone is an odd concept, a movie that replicates the 30+-year-old “Home Alone” template in a way that feels slightly weird. Releasing exclusively on DIsney+ as part of the second anniversary Disney+ Day event, it’s a reminder that not every classic needs a reimagining.
Marking the sixth movie spun out of the premise since Macauley Culkin first defended his family home from bad guys in 1990. This movie tweaks the concept sightly by casting the home-invaders as an ordinary couple, played by Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney. Grudgingly forced to sell their home for financial reasons, they discover that an inherited doll could be extremely valuable, which might spare them from having to move.
But when young Max (Jojo Rabbit standout Archie Yates) visits their open house, the couple concludes that the boy has stolen their precious item. Before they manage to track him down, his parents prove every bit as inept as the McCallisters once were, inadvertently leaving him sleeping at home when they jet off to Tokyo.
So Max is left to fulfil every kid’s fantasy by fending off adults with his self-generated gadgets and gizmos. However, the victims are a seemingly ordinary couple, apart from their terrible judgment and ability to take physical punishment.
At its core, the movie is about the importance of family, teaching those concerned to appreciate everyone near and dear to them.
The casting seems to waste some amusing people, which in addition to the leads includes supporting roles for Kenan Thompson, Pete Holmes and Tim Simons. Yates’ British accent reflects the international flavour behind the production. However, unfortunately, he can sometimes come across as more irritating than he needs to be but still manages to pull off some nice callbacks to the earlier movies.
“Home Alone” came to Disney through its 2019 acquisition of Fox. Despite its cult status and cartoonish humour, the slightly sadistic nature of the John Hughes scripted story means it isn’t exactly a perfect fit with the Disney brand. Home Sweet Home Alone tries to build on the original Home Alone formula and bring it onto Disney+ for the 21st Century.
Home Sweet Home Alone is a sweet movie that reminds us of the importance of family during the holidays. It might not have the appeal of the original, certainly not to be an instant classic, but if you’re looking for an easy watch that will make you laugh, it is well worth spending 90 minutes on this holiday season.
Home Sweet Home Alone premieres exclusively on Nov 12 on Disney+ .