Despite the fact that movies like Goodfellas, The Godfather, Gone With the Wind and other IMDB Top 250 movies that start with a G have been made in the past (how long have movies been made? 500 years? One million years? 25 years? I’ll just guess 100 years. That seems like a good round number) 100 years, I have seen Home Alone more than any other movie in the history of movies.
It would be fair to say that Home Alone is my favorite movie. Because Home Alone is my favorite movie. It’s the intricacies behind the film that make it so great. Like, would Harry and Marv have actually murdered Kevin McCallister if push came to shove? And why were the South Bend police so inept?
But perhaps the greatest dilemma in the John Hughes (and John Williams) classic is: Why did Kevin McCallister transfer his microwavable macaroni and cheese from container to plate? I’m a full-grown adult, and I have never transferred a microwavable meal to a plate. Perhaps it was this rookie mistake made by the 8-year-old McCallister that forced him to miss his dinner and therefore cause him to retaliate against his attackers with such force.
We first see the Kraft macaroni and cheese when Kevin goes shopping all by his lonesome.
McCallister asks the shopping clerk, “Are those microwave dinners good?” The grocery worker responds, “I don’t know.” McCallister then responds with a precocious smirk, “I’ll give them a whirl.” As if the line had just been fed to him seconds before by Mr. John Hughes (or director Christopher Columbus) himself.
We then see McCallister walking home with his groceries before ::snap:: both bags break at the exact same moment. This is the only time this has ever happened in movie history. We see the macaroni and cheese lying on the ground, having just passed through the faulty plastic bag. The question is: how does McCallister get his microwaveable dinner, and his assortment of other groceries, home? Does he tie off the other side of the bag? Does he only take the important stuff? Does he leave some stuff in the snow and come back for them? Does he just try to bundle everything in his tiny 8-year-old arms and keep fumbling and dropping things as he goes along? Does some kind soul come along and help the poor boy get his groceries home? We may never know.
Next, we see McCallister take the macaroni and cheese out of the microwave. He has left himself just three minutes to consume his dinner before a long night of attacking criminals. I commend him for the effort of using pot holders, though it’s never a move I’ve made myself. I guess I’m just more of a risk-taker than McCallister. Notice, McCallister did not wait the allotted time you’re supposed to leave the meal in the microwave to complete the cooking process. He just opens up the door all willy nilly and takes it out. Good move, Kevbo. I don’t wait either. And when you have just three minutes before burglars are coming, you don’t have that kind of time to waste.
Now, here’s the problem. McCallister transfers his meal from the microwavable container to a plate. What is he doing? Such a rookie mistake. No one has ever in the history of microwavable meals made this error. And to do it with just three minutes on the clock? I appreciate the prayer he gives. “Bless this nutritious, microwaveable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale.” It’s important to thank God for macaroni and cheese. There would be no macaroni and cheese without God.
Now this is just straight up bonkers. What the heck does McCallister think he’s doing with that knife? What’s his malfunction? Who would possibly need to cut macaroni and cheese into smaller pieces? The appeal of macaroni and cheese is that it’s bite size for literally anyone who can bite.
Now, beware, this next part may disturb you.
The mac and cheese goes uneaten. It will sit there, lonely, all night while paint cans are dropped on heads, Micro Machines are scattered across the floor and human skin is burnt. As McCallister walked away from that table (after blowing out the candles of course) he may have thought to himself, “I could die tonight. My last meal … was no meal at all. You know, because I didn’t get to eat.”
There’s another issue I have here, and I would love to have a word with Mr. Columbus about it. That doesn’t look like microwavable macaroni and cheese. We may have resolved the crux of our issue here. Microwavable mac and cheese has a wider noodle, and more sauce. That mac and cheese looks shockingly like boxed, stove top mac and cheese. Did the filmmakers behind Home Alone pull the classic ol’ switcheroo? Was the microwavable stuff not appealing enough to the eye? Did they seriously pretend to make the microwavable stuff, and then transfer stove top mac and cheese to a plate instead, thinking that no one would ever notice?
Possibly, but unless Mr. Columbus has the guts to admit to his lie, we’ll never know. What we’re left with is a reality that Kevin McCallister choked under pressure. He didn’t use the proper eating receptacle (wasting three important minutes) and he was about to cut his mac and cheese with a knife.
Now, don’t worry. This doesn’t ruin Home Alone for me. But it does make me question just how much of a hero McCallister really is.
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