A large, well-to-do family in a Chicago suburb rushes off to Paris for Christmas, accidentally leaving behind an eight-year-old (Macaulay Culkin) who has to guard the house from a pair of burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). John Hughes wrote and produced this 1990 comedy, and Chris Columbus directed it. The movie is quite enjoyable as long as it explores the fantasy of a neglected little boy having an entire house of his own to explore and play in, and it still manages to be fun when he exhibits superhuman ingenuity and resourcefulness in holding down the fort—with Culkin doing a fair job of mugging. But the physical cruelty that dominates the last act leaves a sour taste, and the multiple continuity errors that make the last scene possible strain one's suspension of disbelief to near the breaking point. With John Heard and Catherine O'Hara as the negligent parents, Jeffrey Wiseman (in a nicely tuned performance), and John Candy in a cameo designed to assist a product placement.
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