In the years since its release in November 1990, Home Alone has developed into the location of an unusually robust media ecosystem. You may have read the theory that Macaulay Culkin’s teenage sociopath Kevin McCallister is growing up to be the villain of the Saw franchise. You may have been fortunate to have found that Catherine O’Hara plays both Kevin’s criminal mother and mother on your quarantined Schitt’s Creek. You probably know that Donald Trump made a cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. And while you may have laughed at the sight of Piers Morgan loudly proclaiming that he doesn’t play the Pigeon Lady in this movie, you may also have torn up the news that the Pigeon Lady – the subject of a recent SNL sketch – is girding up up for a lonely vacation. (“She’ll be ‘home alone’ for Christmas.” Excellent stuff, as always, from the Post.)
But we’re nothing if not myopic at GQ, and so I tell you with great pride, a touch of shame and a dash of aftershave, that a narrow strip of Home Alone content remains unreleased: The Home Alone Movies are style movies, especially because the Wet Bandits are certified style icons.
The Wet Bandits are likely Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), the film’s grubby, charming antagonists. They’re burglars, and they seem decent enough at their jobs because they’ve committed enough robberies (and left enough faucets behind) to earn a nickname for themselves. But they aren’t smart enough to avoid absolute destruction by a brave boy: in two films they are set on fire, nailed, burned, electrocuted, and generally mutilated by all kinds of household items. They are undeniably the film’s patsies. And yet, in retrospect, it is also clear that these are incredibly stylish patsies.
In the first film, we meet the bandits who are quitting a job in Kevin’s suburb of Chicago. Marv turns on the sink and returns to meet Harry in her van. He’s dressed in various shades of brown: loose fitting pants, yellowed t-shirt, dark flannel and a corduroy coat pulled straight from Crosby Street around 2020. His collar was up against the wind. Meanwhile, Harry wears a gnarled tweed coat, scarf and watch cap in sailor quality. They are clearly dressed as “bad guys” – but about 30 years after the film was released, they just look damn sick.
The coats alone are breathtaking. Marv’s collar is architectural – a bit of 90s Armani, a bit of secondhand luck, a bit of Drake for Aimé Leon Dore. Harry’s is just bulletproof, the kind of support blanket you wouldn’t surprise if Mary-Kate Olsen wears it, and The Row that reproduces itself for men. Sure, these are bad men – but they are bad men too, if you understand my drift.