Question: Why was Kevin's family so mean to him?
New this week Answer: The ones who were mean just saw Kevin as a brat. However, it's not uncommon in situations of being in an overcrowded house to easily lose one's patience and temper and become frustrated with small, but irritating things; which seems to happen to his mother. Bud just has that general big brother contempt for his kid brother, but obviously still loves him, along with everyone else in the family, at the end when he finds out Kevin is safe.
Question: When a police officer comes to Kevin's house, the officer rings the doorbell, but since he gets no answer, assumes no one is home. But in real life, wouldn't a policeman break into the house, and then search the house, and then bring the child out of the house, and take to him to his family, just in case a the child did exactly what Kevin did, hiding under the bed or couch? Also wouldn't Kevin's parents get arrested for leaving Kevin behind if the police did find out they left him behind?
New this month Answer: To answer your first question, no. As a right protected under the Fourth Amendment, the police are prohibited from entering a private residence without a warrant and probable cause. Since, as you point out, the policeman assumes no one is home, there's no cause to enter; had he heard, say, a cry for help from inside the house, that would constitute an exigent circumstance, an exception that would allow him to enter in order to help someone in imminent danger. To answer your second question, I doubt it. What happened wasn't done deliberately or out of neglect; it was an accident caused by circumstances beyond their control; accidents can, and do, happen.
Question: Near the end of the movie, Kevin makes the 911 call because of the bandits. Why couldn't he had just done this instead of bothering to set up all the traps in the first place? Was he possibly trying to see if he couldn't kill them first instead, then call? Either way, the police were coming over with the call.
New this month Answer: If Kevin called 911 sooner and was found to be "home alone" he knows the police would probably put him into Child Protective Services, leaving the house unguarded. His parents could face some legal issues for having left him behind. Since the burglars hadn't actually done anything yet, the police could not have taken any action against them. Also, Kevin's a kid. He was not trying to kill the burglars, but by his reasoning, he thinks it's his duty to protect the family's home.
Question: Maybe I missed it, but did the McAllisters even bother to call home? I don't remember them calling the house at all. Why wouldn't that be the first thing they do? Kevin seems to be pretty independent for his age. He might have not answered the door, but I'm sure he would have answered the phone.
Answer: They did but the power and phone lines were down due to a tree branch that had fallen on them the night before the family left. A flight attendant on their plane mentions that attempts had been made to call the McAllisters' home but "the phones are still out of order".
Question: I have never understood the scene where Kevin questions the store clerk about the toothbrush (whether the brush is approved by the American Dental Association). It just seems odd for him to be concerned with this. Am I missing something?
Answer: It has nothing to do with the plot. This is just a humorous bit that shows Kevin's quirky personality and thought process. He focuses on small, odd details that most kids his age would never notice. It shows how he is able to devise the rather unique plan to combat the would-be robbers. Even Kevin's father comments about what a funny (as in peculiar) kid he is.
Question: When Heather is counting the children it appears to me that she counts herself twice as number 3 and 11 - am I correct?
Answer: She does indeed...she counts herself as "3" in the wide shot, and in the shot from inside the van, right after she counts the neighbor kid as Kevin, one can see her tap her own head again and say "11". It's a continuity error (yet still, for some reason, the correct number of kids).
Question: If Old Man Marley is actually a nice man (and not a "shovel slayer" as Buzz claims) then why does he always give Kevin that cold, creepy stare? After Kevin ran away the first time wouldn't he want to talk to Kevin the next time, to assure him that everything is okay?
Answer: Because he's understandably angry that Kevin's so unreasonably scared of him and assumes the worst in him without even getting a chance to know him. He never gets a chance to talk to him, because he always runs away too quickly. The first time he gives him that stare was when Kevin was watching him shovel from the window. Nobody would like to be stared at like that while doing a simple task.
Question: Why does Kevin scream when he slaps the aftershave on his face? He didn't shave so he doesn't have any cuts, so it wouldn't burn at all.
Answer: Kevin did shave his face. His skin is sensitive from his first shave so the alcohol in the aftershave makes his face sting. Hence, the screaming.