Love the Coopers

Last week, Jay and Sean got to see The Night Before, Seth Rogen’s tale of Christmas debauchery. That I wound up seeing the latest holiday offering from the producer of The Family Stone instead wasn’t- as you might think- because I drew the short straw at the Assholes Christmas love the coopersparty. My family is just REALLY into Christmas.

For me, it’s not Christmas until I’ve tried every Starbucks Christmas drink on the menu at least once, wept to the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, helped my colleague understand her granddaughter’s Christmas list, and shared the Swiss Chalet festive meal with my parents. Because my visit home last week happened to coincide with our first snowfall, it seemed the perfect time to scratch the Festive Meal (chicken leg, cramberry sauce, stuffing, and french fries) off the list.  After supper, which was well worth the wait, tradition dictates that it’s time for a Christmas movie.

love the coopers 3The Coopers have clearly not had their festive meal yet because their Christmas is getting off to a Bah Humbuggy start. We meet Elanor (Olivia Wilde) in an airport bar on Christmas Eve where she is stalling and trying to gather up enough nerve to face her family’s Christmas. Her brother Hank (Ed Helms) can’t bring himself to tell his family that he has been out of work for a month. Sam and Charlotte (John Goodman and Diane Keaton), their parents, are getting a divorce but are putting off breaking the news until after Christmas. Charlotte’s sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) has just been arrested by a closeted gay cop (Anthony Mackie) for shoplifting. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Emma’s father (Alan Arkin)’s world has come crashing down when he learns that his favourite waitress (Amanda Seyfried) is moving away.

I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I’d like to tell my parents that I did but didn’t hate it as muchlove the coopers 2 as I’d like to tell the internet that I did either. Featuring one Avenger, two former Dunder Mifflin employees, and three Oscar winners, it does its best to appeal to a modern audience. Sam frequently and unintentionally misquotes Joy to the World and Silent Night to make them sound dirty. Elanor meets and clashes with a Republican soldier (Jake Lacy) at a bar. There’s even a toddler with the adorable catchphrase “You’re such a dick!”. Coopers is still a holiday sap like me though with all the predictable family reconcilations and unlikely displays of Christmas spirit.

love the coopers 4That we’ve seen it all before is not the only reason Love the Coopers feels insincere. The unusually talented cast phones it in, probably because they know they can afford to. Almost all of them have appeared in their share of good movies over the last couple of years and seem to be counting on the strength in numbers that come with a cast of so many recognizable faces. Wilde is a notable exception. Whether she is the only one on set who actually likes this script or is somehow better at hiding it than her more experienced co-stars, she plays her scenes with Lacy as if she’s sure these are the ones they’ll remember her for. I wouldn’t nominate her for any awards but her confidence does make her dynamic with the Republican soldier the most endearing in the film.

Overall, Love the Coopers earned some big laughs from the Silvercity crowd last week while working in some genuinely sad and tender moments but way too many jokes don’t connect (Mostly from trying too hard. Did I mention that Steve Martin is the narrator?) and mostly feels trite (mostly from not trying hard enough).

For a chance to win a Holiday Prize Pack with a GOOD Holiday movie, tell us about your own favourite Holiday movie in the Comments section of this post. Check our Contests page for more details.

 

 

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Love the Coopers

  1. Pingback: What’s your favourite holiday movie? Matt wants you to win it! | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  2. Jay

    Mine’s A Christmas Story too, but of course I already own it!

    I wonder what it’s like to film a Christmas movie when it’s so terribly out of season? I get Christmas-phobic if someone puts up lights or a tree before December 1st, so I can only imagine how pukey it must be to sing carols in fake snow on a movie set. Not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      I wondered the same thing so I looked it up. Lucky for them, principal photography began on December 19 so they at least had a couple of days of holiday cheer. It must have been brutal after that though, filming in January and February where everyone is burnt out on the holidays and winter in general.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Jay

        Yeah, I figured they must have done the same on The Night Before, because they showed a lot of Manhattan all dressed up for the holidays, all snowy and stuff. but you’re right, there IS something worse than pretending to be Christmas in July, and that’s pretending it in January when you’re stupidly sick of it!

        Like

  3. Carrie Rubin

    The reviews have been none to kind to this movie. Glad to see it might have something worth seeing. I’ll keep it on the back burner.

    It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite Christmas movie, but I’d have to go with Home Alone. It used to be A Christmas Story, but I’ve seen that one SO many times. There’s one I watched a few years ago–Arthur Christmas. That’s really funny. Great British humor in it. (It’s a cartoon.)

    Like

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      Yes, movies like this are a lot of fun to pick on so I really wanted to be able to join in but, I have to say, it’s not as bad as all that. It’s still mostly unconvincing though.
      Home Alone, despite its sadistic finale, is definitely in my Top 5.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. Jay

      Sean’s favourite is Home Alone.
      I think we give a bit of a pass to holiday movies because they’re SUPPOSED to be cheesy. We want a little magic and surrealism in our holiday fare, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Liz A.

    At a certain time of year, I like a little Christmas cheese. But I prefer to watch those movies at home.

    My favorite Christmas movie is actually a TV movie called The Christmas List. It came out in the late ’90s. Hasn’t been on TV in a few years 😦 I wouldn’t call it high art, but for some reason it makes me happy.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      That’s a good point, I think Christmas movies are the few movies that are best enjoyed at home.
      I’ve never seen The Christmas List but loved that you went with a TV movie. I still have fond memories of one I saw one Christmas Eve in the late 90s that had Ji mmy Stewart in it.

      Like

      Reply
  5. BunKaryudo

    Sounds like another movie I’ll probably get around to watching on DVD one wet weekend. As for holiday movies, I’m not claiming it was any kind of classic because it clearly wasn’t, but I think I may have been the only person on the planet who sat through “Trapped in Paradise” and quite enjoyed it.

    Like

    Reply
  6. adeleinglasses

    Great review, very balanced! My fiancé and myself have time to fit in one Christmas movie at the cinema before Star Wars: The Force Awakens is upon us, so this helped. I’m off to read The Night Before review now!

    Like

    Reply
  7. laura kilty

    “I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I’d like to tell my parents that I did but didn’t hate it as much as I’d like to tell the internet that I did either.” Possibly my favourite line in a review ever- colour me sold! Think my favourite Chrimbo film has to be the re-make of Miracle on 34th Street. I watch it every year and every year I cry when Santa gets taken to prison and then again when he wins the case. It’s a beautiful thing (if you are overly sentimental at Christmas).

    Like

    Reply
  8. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

    I would go with “A Diva’s Christmas Carol,” but I think that’s more of my favorite bad Christmas movie (though really, far more movies should include a fake “Behind the Music” for those of us who loved that show back when).

    Overall, I definitely go with the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” As for more recent movies, I am a sucker for “Love, Actually.” And even though it’s not a Christmas movie per se, “About a Boy” does have a Christmas theme that runs through it.

    Like

    Reply
  9. joelnox

    There are just so many that I love but I think it’s pretty much a tie between White Christmas and Christmas in Connecticut (the Barbara Stanwyck one of course not that piece of crap remake Arnold Schwarzenegger made for TV). But I have a whole mini collection being a sucker for holiday movies.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s