Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Kevin McCallister

One man, alone, abandoned by the country he loves. Oh, wait, we’re talking about that Home Alone character who sets traps throughout his house to keep the thieves at bay.

Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister
Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister

Yeah, okay, I’ll go with the “One man, alone…” quote.

Or how about if I make up my own? One warrior stands alone, grappling with destiny, vowing to defend the land he loves.

Maybe not.

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is the troublemaker. The set-apart. The brat. The night before leaving on vacation, he becomes a sore spot for the rest of his family. In a moment of anger, he says to his mother that he wishes he could wake up and find everyone gone.

The next morning, Kevin’s words turn into reality. He awakens to an empty house and with nothing to do other than to call for a major party.

Kevin McCallister
Kevin McCallister

Cue the required jumping on bed, eating anything and everything he can get his hands on, splashing aftershave on his face for the first time, using the stairs as a toboggan route, playing with firecrackers, and watching all the stuff on TV his parents would take a conniption if they found out.

As fun as it seems, and as happy, as Kevin is to know that he doesn’t have his parents or his obnoxious brother to deal with, he has another problem on his hands. Thieves, who have been casing the neighborhood, have marked his home for a score. In spite of the lights going on like clockwork every night, The Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) have left Kevin’s house last on their list of homes to burglarize.

Yet, Kevin isn’t dumb. He knows a threat when he sees it. The Wet Bandits are a threat. His first round meeting his foes, he uses his intellect and some good ol’ fashioned fun to distract the pair from entering his home. His technique is a simple one: use mannequins to scare off the intruders.

Of course it worked. Who would stick around with a house filled with guests dancing to the groove of 50’s Christmas music?

It doesn’t end there. After a failed attempt at casing the joint once more, the crooks promise they will be back. And Kevin vows he will be ready.

Well, that’s a short summary about Kevin McCallister, the little boy who defends his house from intruders during Christmas time.

The other part of the story, which is more personal, is that the movie is also one of the first films my wife and I went to see before getting married. Every year now, my family and I sit down to watch this treat of an extravaganza as a wonderful tradition and reminder of our courtship.

All right, back to Kevin. He’s smart, funny, and quick on the draw. He’s your regular kid, but with a bit of an attitude. If I were to ever want someone to defend my home against intruders, I’d certainly get Kevin to do it for me.

Having said that, I want to watch Home Alone once more.

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

Have you seen Home Alone? What do you like most about Kevin?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Kate McCallister

I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t seen Home Alone. That is no slight exaggeration. In its short twenty-four year history, the film has gone on to become a holiday favorite for many families, including ours. Once a year, we dim the lights, set the fire and curl up to the sights and sounds of “Kevin!”

Catherine O'Hara as Kate McCallister
Catherine O’Hara as Kate McCallister

Today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday is all about wide-eyed Kevin’s mom Kate McCallister—the parent who left her son home alone for the holidays.

It’s Christmas and the McCallister family has plans to vacation in France. The night before their trip, amid the chaos of the kids fighting, the ruined pizza and everyone ganging up on Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) for being a nuisance—read: kid with high IQ who no one appreciates—a wish passes through the nuisance’s lips and suddenly the next day the family disappears.

Among the family members who go missing is Kevin’s mom Kate McCallister (Catherine O’Hara) who finds herself on a plane with her husband and family heading to France. Nothing wrong with that, it was the plan after all, until she realizes she’s forgotten her eight-year-old son home alone.

The guilt tears her up so much that she wonders what kind of mother she is for having forgotten her son during a family trip. And like any good mother, when the family arrives in France, the first thing on her agenda is fulfilling her desire to get home to see her boy.

Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister
Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister

It sounds like an easy task, hop on a plane and she’s good to go. But it’s Christmas time and all the flights are bustling with folks with the same idea—get home for the Holidays. Determined to get back to her son, Kate presses for an early flight that would get her close to home, but not close enough.

When Kate arrives on U.S. soil, she hits another obstacle. She can’t get transportation anywhere. Rentals and flights are gone and her only hope is that someone would be gracious enough to help her get home to see her son. But not before she let’s go on one of the airport attendants venting her plight, reminding them of the common decency of the season. To no avail she gets nowhere.

It isn’t until a bandleader (John Candy) and his buddies offer Kate a ride that things start to make sense again for the exhausted mom. In the back of an old dingy van, she and a gang of old-time polka musicians jet cross-country through the winter Illinois landscape.

Once she arrives home and sees Kevin for the first time since abandoning him, she doesn’t know what to day. Well, actually, she does know what to say, but I’m not going to spoil it for you. You can watch it on your own and relive the excitement of Home Alone.

A mother’s love for a child is a wonderful thing, and Kate shows us what that love is all about.

[Stay tuned next week when the new feature Wednesday Warriors debuts here on JackFlacco.com.]

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

What do you like about Kate McCallister? What makes Home Alone so gratifying to watch year after year?