Love the Coopers is a Christmas comedy-drama that centers around the dysfunctional Cooper family. It follows six family member’s experiences leading up to Christmas Eve when they all meet up for a big family feast. But will it be jingle all the way?
Our expectations for this festive caper were high due to the top-notch cast which includes: John Goodman, Diane Keeton, Alan Akins, Marisa Tomei and the voice of Steve Martin, but sadly this Christmas comedy is just not, well, a comedy.
The matriarch Charlotte played by Diane Keaton and husband Sam played by the ever-watchable John Goodman, are on the brink of a divorce that they are keeping a secret until after the holidays, their son Hank played by Ed Helms is hiding his unemployment from both his ex-wife and parents, their daughter Elenor, Olivia Wilde, is just the most unlikable person you are ever going to meet and manages to spark up zero chemistry with on-screen love interest US Marine Joe played by earnestly by Jake Lacy . Grandpa Bucky, Alan Arkin, plays Charlotte’s father who appears to be perving on a young diner waitress, Ruby played by Amanda Seyfried. Meanwhile, teenager Charlie played by Timothée Chalamet is trying to get in on with his crush and finally, there’s Charlotte’s jealous sister Emma, Marisa Tomei, who is stealing cheap jewellery and seemingly a compulsive liar who tries to start up a therapy session with a cop.
Are you following this? ‘Coopers’ concentrates very hard on these intertwining family members mundane lives that they forget to inject any fun into it. To put it simply we didn’t Love the Coopers at all and at times we found it hard to like the Coopers. The film spends all its time trying to pull on your heart strings without allowing any of the characters stories to unfold organically – they were trying to force us to feel and we sussed them out straight away. Even Steve Martin’s narration can’t salvage it. As for comedy, there’s only a handful moments that we would say make you smile. The cast does do their best with this script and the saving grace is some nice moments between Goodman and Keaton. Director Jessie Nelson has tried his best to make the American Love Actually but has failed miserably. We believe the heart of the film is the right place it just totally misses the Christmas sweet spot.
Love the Coopers is out in cinemas now.
Reviewed Ian Wright & Ingrid Grenar.