At this point, I feel like it’s kind of tired to complain about the amount of reboots and remakes of classic TV shows and movies. Everyone has different taste, so who cares if they’re bringing yet another ’90s show back from the dead for easy money? But we all have to draw the line somewhere, and you know what? I draw that line at Home Alone.
Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company completed their acquisition of 20th Century Fox, one of the largest business deals in history. I’m sure there were lots of reasons why Disney bought Fox, but one of the biggest factors was Fox’s huge catalog of content. In addition to all of their existing properties like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney now has the rights to tons of other famous movies, and they’re wasting no time putting these to use.
This week, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced plans for reboots of numerous family-friendly Fox titles for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, including generally unexciting things like Cheaper By The Dozen and Night at the Museum. But the new project that’s furthest along in the development process is a new version of Home Alone, and honestly? They can keep it.
Everyone: Enough with the reboots, for the love of god.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve ever been some crazy fan of Home Alone. It’s a cool movie, sure, whatever, but it wasn’t one that I rented every week at Blockbuster (RIP). Whether or not a reboot of Home Alone was a good idea, I probably wouldn’t be that excited to watch it—but it’s not a good idea! No matter how much you love the original movie, the whole concept of Home Alone in 2019 just doesn’t make sense.
If you’ll recall, the original Home Alone was released in 1990, and it was a huge hit. But you also might recall that 1990 was a very different time in the world. There was no internet, no cell phones, and 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, so people tended to be a lot more chill about traveling and just like, life in general. It still would’ve taken a lot of oversight for a kid to be left behind on their family trip to Paris, but maybe it could’ve happened.
Cut to 2019, when I literally have three WiFi connected devices within an arm’s reach. Poor little Macaulay Culkin would probably already have an iPhone, his parents’ credit card, and an Uber account to use in emergencies. Without some major stretches of the imagination, Home Alone would be approximately 10 minutes long.
Home Alone in 2019: The McAllister Family have all been invited on an influencer trip to Lake Como. Kevin doesn’t have enough followers, so he can’t go.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) August 7, 2019
I’m sure Disney knows this on some level, and they are planning to make some tweaks to the plot. Rather than the movie, where Kevin has to fend off two burglars, the new version will “follow a husband and wife who go to war with a young boy who has stolen something from them.” That sounds interesting enough, but I’d imagine that the main through line of a project called Home Alone still involves the main character being left home…alone. This sounds less like “Home Alone” and more like “two grown-ass adults who have too much time on their hands and who would probably be better off seeking out legal avenues of recourse”.
The most exciting piece of news out this whole announcement is that Melissa McCarthy is in talks to star in the new Home Alone, which might be the only thing that can save it. No word yet on whether Macaulay Culkin will be invited back in some capacity, but based on his current life trajectory, I’m guessing the answer is no. So far, no release date has been announced, but the Disney+ service is launching this November.
Fans of Gossip Girl and/or The Bling Ring, you are in luck. Over the past few months, the story of the first big “scammin’ for the ‘Gram” con artist has come out, and it is wild. I’m already excited for the movie. Here’s the story. On the surface, Anna Delvey (born Sorokin, age 27) is basically everyone you follow on Instagram. She was rich, she always dressed in designer clothes, and she frequented restaurants whose entrées cost more than your rent. She also happened to be a massive fucking fraud (allegedly), and is currently in jail on charges of alleged grand larceny and theft of services. So, how did this complete rando casually adopt the lifestyle of a Kardashian? (No, this is not a how-to guide. Note the part where she’s in jail.) Let’s take a look. The Cut did an amazing job reporting on it, and you should definitely read the complete story, but if you don’t have time to read it all right now but don’t want to sound stupid at happy hour when literally everyone is talking about it, here’s our shorter breakdown for you to read first.
What Did Anna Delvey Do?
What’s sad/brilliant is how fucking easy it all sounds. Anna shows up with her “ambiguously accented” English, giant Céline sunnies, and a seemingly endless supply of cash. Naturally, people fall all over themselves to befriend this assumed trust fund baby. They spend a few months enjoying extravagant gifts, dinners, and weekend getaways—until Anna’s credit card “stops working,” and someone needs to cover the bill.
In total, Anna allegedly scammed an estimated $275,000, including at least $50,000 in unpaid NYC hotel fees alone. Am I appalled for the individuals Delvey ripped off? Absolutely. Am I the tiniest bit impressed at her innate gift for spending money like a billionaire? Um, yeah. The list of Delvey’s purchases—not including the thousands on airfare, hotels, and decadent vacations—covers a $3,500 private jet rental, multiple Tesla rentals, $4,500 personal training sessions, Gucci sandals, Alexander Wang leggings, Supreme hoodies, $800 highlights, $400 eyelash extensions, cryotherapy, multiple iPhones, and a case of 1975 Dom Perignon. Wait, is this my Pinterest page or someone’s rap sheet? V confusing.
Actual footage of Delvey walking through her hotel lobby:
So, Who TF Was This Girl?
As for the origin story of Anna Delvey, we know she grew up in Russia, went to school in Germany/London, and then got an internship in Paris at Purple magazine. As I assume happens to most people who intern at fashion magazines in Paris, this is where Anna took a turn into becoming a horrible person. The next few years of her life are hazy, but basically she emerges into New York’s social scene. By 2013, she was a Fashion Week regular, attended “all the best parties,” hosted celebrity dinners with random guests like Macaulay Culkin and Martin Shkreli, and was, as one acquaintance put it, part of “the 200 or so people you see everywhere.” Delvey was reportedly not, as you might expect, “superhot…or super-charming; she wasn’t even very nice.” All that mattered was that she was in the right places, wearing the right clothes, and appearing to spend the right amount of money.
Why Did No One Stop Her?
The big question, obviously, is how she kept the alleged scam up so long. At the rate she was burning money, the fact that she didn’t have the capital to back it up definitely should have come up sooner. And the reason it didn’t is definitely not because she had an airtight story or was particularly good at lying. To begin with, this girl was claiming to be a German heiress without really speaking German. As this Independent article points out (a little too gleefully IMO—we get it, Americans are dumb), “a quick quiz in German could have cleared it all up very speedily.” But honestly, no one who was around Delvey had any interest in finding out if her story was fake—people just wanted her to keep buying shit, trusting that the payment would eventually come through.
As for how she covered it when payment didn’t come through—which was often—Delvey allegedly claimed unsuccessful wire transfers from a (nonexistent) trust fund in Germany. She also reportedly fabricated a financial adviser named Peter W. Hennecke who corresponded on her behalf when she attempted to get a loan of $25 to $35 million from various banks. The phone number associated with Hennecke was found to be a burner from a supermarket, his email was an AOL account, and when people started asking questions, Delvey literally pretended Hennecke had died. I cannot make this up. Ultimately, her debts caught up to her, and she was arrested outside rehab facility Passages in Malibu. How very Lohan of her.
What’s She Doing Now?
As mentioned, Delvey is currently in jail, a turn of events she’s taken surprisingly well. “People seem to think it’s horrible,” Delvey says about literal prison, “but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” Many quotes from Delvey’s time in jail give me pause, like when she marvels over her cellmates’ accounts of identity theft (“I didn’t realize it was so easy”), and the tidbit that “the murderers were the most interesting to her.”
Essentially, this girl is troubled—a fact equally on display in her still-existing Instagram account, which features terrible selfies interspersed with pictures of literally blank white space. Also, most of the comments on these pictures are from clearly fake accounts, with 5-10 posting the same comment verbatim within minutes. This is not the Instagram account of someone who is okay.
If there’s a lesson to learn here, it’s that owning designer athleisure and keeping a stack of $100 bills handy is a great way to convince people you have a trust fund. Seriously though, it’s an extreme example of how the Instagram existence we crave is more often than not an illusion, specifically designed to blind people with displays of money while obscuring the reality underneath. Maybe if we were less desperate to make our lives LOOK wealthy and fabulous, we wouldn’t be so eager to believe someone like Delvey, who displayed more than a few red flags. And maybe we could stop breeding criminals whose primary goal is to spend more money on bottle service and sweatpants from Supreme. Just a thought.
Images: Giphy (5)