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Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the young child in this slapstick comedy has to face adult burglars by himself because nobody believes that he's telling the truth. The kid's attempts at fighting back include lots of slapstick violence and comedic peril (falls, injuries, hot fondue incidents) ... just like in the rest of the Home Alone movies. There are also clumsy attempts at coping with the issues of divorce and adult relationships.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Is it any good?
The jokes fall flat, and the smart observations sound like they're being read off a cue card. In the HOME ALONE franchise, so much hangs on the little hero, Kevin. Macaulay Culkin's comedic timing and precocious remarks made for great entertainment, but Weinberg just doesn't have the chops to carry this movie's weak script.
The supporting cast isn't as lame: The bad guys are pretty amusing, though they get beaten to a pulp. But serious subjects like divorce and parenting get thrown around too lightly -- and lamely -- to make this good kids' entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the high-priced toys and gadgets seen in this movie. What's your reaction to seeing so many fancy gifts and toys? Does it make you want them or feel dissatisfied with what you have? Here are some ways to talk about material excess in movies like this one.
How is the topic of divorce handled in this movie? Does it seem realistic? Do you have any personal experience with divorce? How is your experience different from what happened in this movie? What are some ways adults can reassure kids affected by divorce?
How does slapstick violence affect kids? Does the comedy make it less realistic? Check out this article for more information.