Friday, 11 December 2015

Christmas with the Coopers film review

Went to see this movie with my family on Tuesday evening for my birthday at the Leeds/Bradford Odeon:

IMDB says: When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.

Still of Olivia Wilde and Jake Lacy in Christmas with the Coopers (2015)

In this Jessie Nelson (I am Sam, Stepmom) directed and Steven Rogers (P. S. I Love You, Hope Floats) written film, Diane Keaton (Father of the Bride, The Godfather trilogy) and John Goodman (Argo, Monsters Inc.) star as a married couple Charlotte and Sam on the brink of separation.  Charlotte wants one last Christmas together with the family and Sam hopes to save the marriage by convincing her to take the trip that they always promised they would go on.  As the various members of family descend on them, we find out all about their dysfunctional lives.  Hank (Ed Helms: The Hangover trilogy, TVs The Office) is divorced and has lost his job, which he is trying to keep from ex-wife Angie (Alex Borstein: Ted, MadTV) and sons Charlie (Timothée Chalamet: Interstellar, Men, Women and Children), Bo (Maxwell Simkins: And So It Goes, About Ray) and daughter Madison (Blake Baumgartner in her first film role).  The only person he has told is his father Bucky (Alan Arkin: Little Miss Sunshine, Edward Scissorhands) who is still reeling from the news that his favourite waitress Ruby (Amanda Seyfried: Mamma Mia!, Dear John) is leaving.  Charlotte's sister Emma (Marisa Tomei: What Women Want, The Wrestler) has just been caught shoplifting and is trying to talk her way out of it by trying to counsel troubled cop Officer Williams (Anthony Mackie: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hurt Locker).  Sam and Charlotte's daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde: Rush, In Time) is so desperate not to get 'that face' when she comes home dateless that she has enlisted the help of soldier Joe (Jake Lacey: Carol, Better with You) to pretend to be her boyfriend.  Aunt Fishy (June Squibb: Meet Joe Black, Scent of a Woman) seems oblivious to it all with the onset of memory problems and even the dog Rags has started comfort eating because of the stress.

The TV ads for this film led us to believe that this would be a nice humorous feel-good movie and this left us feeling disappointed.  This was a sad movie concentrating more on the dysfunctional family using several storylines that just don't seem to connect up too well or come to a satisfying conclusion, it was almost like they were going for a Richard Curtis movie, but failing.  I was looking forward to a happy movie for my birthday and this it certainly wasn't.  It tried to deal with serious issues but with thin characters and obvious forced tear-jerking.

Trivia: This is the third movie that Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried have appeared in together (In Time and Alpha Dog), Alan Arkin and John Goodman worked together previously in Argo, as did Ed Helms and Jake Lacey in TVs The Office , John Goodman also worked with Ed Helms previously in The Hangover Part III and this is the also the third movie that Olivia Wilde and Alan Arkin worked in together (The Change-Up, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone).

Still of Marisa Tomei in Christmas with the Coopers (2015)

 Let down.                                                                                           5.5/10

#ChristmasWithTheCoopers  #DianeKeaton  #JohnGoodman  #AlanArkin  #OliviaWilde  #MarisaTomei

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