So usually sequels are really formulaic and shitty and predictable but NOT SO with HA:2 LINY- an acronym which I’m going to use from now on as often as possible (stop trying to make fetch happen Gretchen! It’s never going to happen). Ahhh this movie is so great. SO many cameos/famous people I’m aware of now as a wizened veteran of film (lol) then I was when I was a spritely youth watching this movie for the first time. The most AHA of them was Donald Trump who Kevin unknowingly asks where the lobby is when he first enters the Plaza. (Unknowingly talking to one of the richest men in the world, not unknowingly asking where the lobby is). Then we have Rob Schnieder as the greedy bellhop, Tim Curry as the malevolent hotel manager (he’s so good at being gay and or evil!) Then a blonde Ally Sheedy as the airline kiosk lady who informs him that the famous skyline is actually not Florida, but New York. Also I JUST realized this but the mom is Catherine O’Hara aka one of Christopher Guest’s clan, specifically the slutty ‘Cookie Fleck’ of Best in Show (!!!!) and his little brother/cousin Fuller (I think) the one who drinks a lot of Cokes and wets the bed- is his REAL brother in real life-Kieran Culkin!
So, as per last year the family is together and boy, are there a lot of them. Kids not adults. There’s two sets of parents and like 10 kids. I don’t know what we’re supposed to think about this (Is this normal? Are they amish? Do they need the kids for free labor?) But that’s just the way it is in the McAllister family. I really love that last name by the way, it reminds me of a crocodile for some reason.
Anyway, so it’s Christmas in Chicago and they’re all taking a trip to sunny Florida. I guess that’s normal. Do people not from the south go to tropical climates in the winter? I know birds and old jewish people/my grandma do, but normal people? Idk. The night before they’re leaving there’s a Christmas play and Kevin’s older brother Buzz (which is such a Toy Story 3 evil older brother name) embarrasses him in front of everyone during his solo so Kevin pushes him over and there’s angst just spilling everywhere. It’s clearly very important for the franchise to start on a note of familial discontent. So the next day, they’re going to Florida and they oversleep (Again??!! Drats!!!) and they’re in the airport shuttle, and as smart viewers we’re all like , ‘Oh noooo where’s Kevin??” but then he’s in the passenger seat of the van! And you’re like, Oohh they got us! But then they lose him at the airport. Blame it on the overabundance of tan trench coat style jackets on men in the 90’s. Or alcohol. Whatever you want.
So, McCauly/Kevin gets to the terminal after the flight, meets a bored Ally Sheedy who tells him ‘that city over there’ is New York. He has about one second of panic, then in true white child fashion, he’s like, “Oh wait! I hate my family (and I have all my dad’s money) This is awesome!” So he goes to the Plaza hotel (kids these days) and using only a tape recorder and his dad’s credit card manages to book a suite with in-room ice cream service and old movies. It honestly looks like what I imagine heaven to be like.
But all good things must come to an end. When nosey Tim Curry looks up the credit card Kevin uses and it comes up ‘stolen’ (because his parents put an alert on it so they could locate their MISSING SON) he freaks out and tries to body tackle Kevin, who is as crafty as ever and in a true scene of cinematic genius (no hyperbole here) plays and mutes this old gangster movie and tricks the entire hotel staff into thinking that not only is the hotel manager kind of slutty (“You was here last night too wasn’t ya? And you was smoochin’ with my brother! You been smoochin’ with everybody! Snuffy. Al. Leo. Little Moe, with the gimpy leg. Cheeks. Boney Bob. Cliff”) but also that he has a tommy gun and is going to kill them all!
So he runs away from the hotel and goes to his uncle’s house which is being renovated. In between all these things he has endeared himself to the owner of a local toy store, ran into the two robbers last he tussled with last year, and befriended this homeless pigeon lady in the park who, in a GREAT move by director Christopher Columbus, (actually his name) isn’t schizophrenic or unhygienic but just lonely.
SO he goes to his uncle’s apartment- the robbers follow him there, they do their whole back and forth slapstick/three stooges/ physical comedy thing- the robbers get caught, Kevin’s mom finds him & takes him back to the hotel where the entire family is, then it’s Christmas morning! They wake up to all these presents from the owner of the toy store because Kevin apprehended the robbers and got the money they stole back from the toy store & restored it to Mr. Duncan (owner of store) by throwing a brick through his window with a note tied to it. This really was the 90’s- no one has to throw bricks to send a message now, they can just post on the store’s fb wall or DM their twitter page, etc. But this was 1992. When dreams were still alive. So he threw the brick.
Anyway, so they all get lots of presents which is cool but in this scene I was too distracted by 1. the HUGE hotel room(s) they’re staying in…like there’s a staircase IN their hotel room…and a large open room that has a full tree and all the presents under it. I don’t know what this family does for a living, but are they supposed to be millionaires? This is New York first of all. They are in this nice ass hotel, also they bought FOURTEEN PLANE TICKETS FROM FLORIDA TO NEW YORK ON CHRISTMAS EVE. Like, even if my own child was lost, I would tell my husband he needed to stay in Florida- it’s just a shit ton of money to fly on Christmas Eve. But fourteen of them. Hello. I don’t even know how much money that would be. Probably like 8,000 dollars. Just for the tickets! Then everyone has to eat, and this hotel room, and presents because it’s Christmas, and they need return flights to Chicago!!! My head was reeling at the amount of fake money that must have been spent. It was crazy. 50 shades of cray.
Okay but then Kevin has this sense like- ‘hmm something isn’t right yet’, so he sneaks out- HE’S EIGHT by the way, need I remind you, just traipsing around the city on his own- but at this point you’re like, he’s not dead yet, it must be fine. So he goes to the park to find his homeless lady friend and he gives her a turtle dove ornament as a symbol of their friendship that he got from the toy dude earlier on. She’s touched needless to say. She clearly loves birds. They hug and instead of asking her to come into the hotel on Chirstmas where there’s heat he just leaves her cause his dad gets the room service bill which he sort of blows a gasket over (967.00) but at this point you’re like, dude cut your losses- you have your kid back and we all know you’re loaded.
So I guess the moral of the beast that is HA:2 LINY; don’t lose sight of your family in the airport because they WILL abandon you, DO buy fireworks and carry them on you because you’ll never know when you might need them, and befriend homeless women because they’ll probably end up saving your life and being your friend.