There are 10 minutes left in the exam, you have nothing, so what do you do? You copy the paper of the smartest kid in class; catastrophe dodged right? Nope. You copied the same answers, same order, and the same wording. So your teacher, not being an idiot, fails you. Christmas Break-In attempted to cheat off Home Alone (1990), was not subtle about it and just failed.
Christmas Break-In follows nine-year-old Izzy (Cameron Seely) on one of the biggest days in her life; the day she is supposed to buy her very first guitar. Despite Izzy’s constant reminders, and just like they do more often than not, Izzy’s parents Heather (Denise Richards) and Pete (Sean O’Bryan) forget to pick her up from school to go to the guitar shop. Even more trouble comes her way when local bandits take shelter from a snowstorm inside the seemingly abandoned school. With her only help, janitor Ray (Danny Glover), captured by the bandits, Izzy has to take matters into her own hands.
Mischievous child forgotten by their parents and has to take on bandits. Seriously? What did the filmmakers expect? That the audience wouldn’t notice the uncanny similarity to the most iconic Christmas movie ever, Home Alone? Did they think that just because the heroine is a girl and that it takes place in a school then that is enough creativity? Or did they know very well that they were not subtly copying a classic and hoped the film would make money just because of that?
No matter what the answers to these questions actually are, the result was a cheap Home Alone knock off that is just not worth anyone’s time.
Some would say that, copy or not, if it is honest fun who cares? Well, it is not. The whole fun should be in the pranks that Izzy pulls on the bandits, but they are few, lame, and rushed.
The plot’s overall pace was slow, even though the film mounts up to only 87 minutes. It stalls and prolongs its very short events that are more fit for a TV episode rather than a full-length feature.
The film’s lines were too static, rehearsed, and unrealistic, which constantly reminded the audience that they were watching a movie and not a very good one.
For the acting, Cameron Seely’s performance did not measure up to the lead role and the shoes she is trying to fill but, the script is mostly at fault for that. Danny Glover’s performance was also below average compared to what his fans have seen from him in most of his previous roles. Denise Richards and Sean O’Bryan gave the most natural and fun performances in the film despite their small roles.
If your kids drag you to this, hopefully you can find a way out of it.