The first two “Home Alone” movies are a couple of my favorite Christmas flicks. Along with the hilarious “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” my family and I make a yearly ritual of watching them during the Holidays.
The character, eight-year-old Kevin McAllister, is smarter than his family gives him credit for. You’ve got to hand it to the kid. He isn’t afraid to call out Buzz’s shenanigans, or Uncle Frank’s being a jerk and moocher.
In the movie, poor Kevin seems to get “dumped on,” as he puts it. When Buzz admits to eating Kevin’s cheese pizza and taunts him over it, Kevin reacts. In his reaction, the boy causes a huge mess in the kitchen by shoving Buzz into the counter, angering his family. Afterward, his mother, Kate, marches him straight upstairs to the dreaded third floor as punishment, and Buzz gets off Scot free.
Although Kevin is the baby of the family, he sure isn’t treated like it. Amazingly, the rest of the family never seem to notice how Buzz taunts and digs at Kevin in plain sight, or, maybe they do see it but choose to ignore it because Kevin is the youngest, smallest, and has the least power.
And who can forget the Christmas choir scene in the sequel, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” when Buzz, who’s standing behind Kevin, pranks him with the Christmas candles and humiliates the poor kid in front of the entire audience as Kevin sings his solo?
His family, who are sitting in the audience and watching it all unfold, only seem amused by Buzz’s cruel prank. When Kevin reacts and ruins the entire show, it’s his fault. Don’t get me wrong, it is funny, and it’s only part of the movie, but one can’t help but feel sorry for the poor kid.
Even worse is later, when the family is sitting in the living room and expects Kevin to apologize after Buzz gives a beautiful show of remorse to keep himself out of trouble. Buzz then turns his back to the family, and sneakily calls Kevin a “trout sniffer.”
Again, no one ever mentioned how Buzz had humiliated his little brother in front of his fellow choir members and a packed auditorium of spectators. With the trout-sniffer remark, Buzz once again baits Kevin into another outburst, which only gets the poor little guy in trouble.
Another thing that makes me believe Kevin is a target is that the rest of his family doesn’t seem to take his feelings, opinions, and thoughts into consideration. Instead, they only dismiss them.
But understand that this is what bullying looks like. When you watch the interaction between Kevin and his older brother Buzz, you’re watching a perfect example of bullying by baiting the target into a reaction.
Sadly, bullies do this in the real world all the time.
Home Alone 1 and 2 are fantastic movies, and I would never downrate them because of the bullying in them. Sibling bullying is what makes the two movies! Without it, a sizeable chunk of comedy wouldn’t be there, and both flicks would be terrible!
It doesn’t trigger me at all, although it might some targets and survivors of bullying. I can only speak for myself on this. To me, the bullying aspect of the movie is what keeps the butts in the seats at the matinee during the holidays.
My point is that these movies can teach you what bullying looks like and how to recognize it when it happens, which is only another added benefit to these two iconic holiday motion pictures!
So, grab yourself some popcorn and a soda- oops- maybe some Christmas cookies and eggnog would be more appropriate. Snuggle up by the fireplace after turning off every light in the house except your Christmas tree lights. Then bask in the relaxed ambiance as you enjoy these timeless Christmas classic comedies!