Kevin and his family are all set to go to Paris to spend Christmas vacation with various relatives, a trip that has no appeal for Kevin at all. He in fact wishes that all of his family would simply disappear, a wish which comes true in a manner of speaking when they leave for France without him. Initially delighted by the prospect of spending the festive period doing as he wishes Kevin soon runs into problems when two burglars decide to set their sights on his home.
Hughes' most successful screenplay to date and the film, which made Macaulay Culkin a household name (on this basis alone, some would argue it should never be viewed) is a festive tale from a disgruntled child's perspective. Hughes manages to capture Kevin's (Macaulay Culkin) feelings of precociousness and childish dreaming with a deft ability. We follow Kevin as he goes from delight at having the house to himself (and believing that his dreams really have come true) to defending his territory against the burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). The majority of comedy comes from the booby traps the inventive Kevin creates which ruin each burglary attempt with fine slapstick humour.
Culkin walks a fine line between annoyance and endearment throughout the film. While never 'cute' you cannot help but side with him, although you also pity Pesci and Stern who never stand a chance. This is a film which manages to capture some of the best qualities of Christmas in a surprisingly enjoyable format and will provide the whole family with large quantities of festive spirit.