Everyone is so sensitive nowadays, if Home Alone were getting a remake, it’s virtually guaranteed that the joke about Buzz’s girlfriend would be completely cut from the movie. But even in 1990, director Chris Columbus knew he couldn’t have a girl that age come in and audition for the part. So he had to get very inventive with how he presented this ‘very beautiful girl’.
Buzz was Kevin’s very obnoxious bully brother in Home Alone, who was constantly on the attack. At one point, Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin), who has been forgotten by his parents as they all fly away for the holidays, is going through his brother’s trunk of personal belongings. He pulls out a photo of Buzz’s girlfriend, housed in a lovely frame. The image is supposed to illicit a laugh, because she’s beauty challenged. Back in the day we would have said she’s homely, but that just doesn’t fly in this current social climate. Kevin probably sums it up best when he says, ‘Buzz, your girlfriend…WOOF!’
Hilarity ensues. Even when it’s playing on TBS around the holidays, today’s youngsters cringe at this joke, believing it to be extra cruel and unnecessary. Because, seriously, what happened to that poor girl? It’s a throwaway gag, and the audience really didn’t need to see her, right? How did they ever get an actress agree to do the part? Did they lie to her? Or were they really fat-shaming this poor teenager for all eternity?
Turns out, neither are true. Buzz’s girlfriend isn’t actually a girl at all. Actor Devin Ratray has finally revealed the big secret behind Buzz’s girlfriend. And it turns out that the producers behind the movie knew it was something special and had a long shelf life, so they didn’t want to subject any actress to that. The role was actually given to a very eager and willing boy to play. Says Devin.
“[They] decided it would be unkind to put a girl in that role of just being funny-looking. The art director had a son who was more than willing to volunteer for the part. I think if he had known it would become the highest-grossing family comedy of all time, he might have had second thoughts about it.”
So Buzz’s girlfriend is actually the art director’s son. And looking at the picture again, it does make a lot of sense. Though, we’re sure there are a lot of people who will still think it’s cruel that any girl or boy is made fun of in such a matter, and it could be argued that the joke is now insensitive to those who identify as trans-gender. At least we can all sleep easy knowing the boy in the photo was okay with making fun of himself for what was a good joke at the time. But perhaps we should take a moment to bow our heads in silence to all those girls who sort of looked like Buzz’s girlfriend back in the 90s. It must have been incredibly painful and hard to watch this scene back then, and it probably doesn’t make it any easier now knowing this girl is really a boy pulling a goof for some laughs. We first noticed this story in Digital Spy.