Like it or not it is the holiday season again. It’s harder for us to notice here in South Florida, but that time of year is here. Amongst the things we can expect are holiday themed movies, one of which opens today, November 13. “Love the Coopers” is like a bad holiday meal; it will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Charlotte and Sam Cooper (Diane Keaton and John Goodman) are getting ready for another massive Christmas Eve family dinner with their children, grandchildren, siblings and Charlotte’s dad, Bucky (Alan Arkin). Little do they know that everyone coming to the get together is off having their own little adventures or in most cases, misadventures.
“Love the Coopers” is not one of those movies with a single plot. There are multiple stories going on and they all get wrapped up when the family comes together. As is a common problem in a movie like this, there are some stories you get more invested in than others and some you don’t care about at all. There’s no problem keeping track of who’s who, just be prepared for the standard holiday movie clichés and so many eye rolling moments that you may be in danger of getting your eyes stuck in the back of your head.
Jessie Nelson directed the movie. The last movie she directed was “I Am Sam.” That came out in 2001 and her directorial skills are beyond rusty here. Apparently she doesn’t even remember how to shoot a close up. There are some close up shots in the beginning of the movie involving Alan Arkin and Amanda Seyfried where their eye lines don’t even appear to be set up right. Jessie has the camera almost directly in front of their faces, yet they are looking off to the side as if they were reading cue cards. The poor editing that accompanied this and other scenes is a further argument to stay away from “Love the Coopers.”
The most impressive aspect of “Love the Coopers” is the amazing cast they brought together. There are three Oscar winners in this movie. As the opening credits roll you can’t help, but to be excited about all the wonderful acting you will experience. If the cast was a group on talented unknowns, it’s doubtful it would get distribution.
There are laughs to be had in “Love the Coopers” and some sweet moments, but the way it often gets preachy and just fails to hold our interest makes this one holiday fare you can avoid. If you go expecting a good time that’s worth spending money on, be prepared to be more disappointed than when you found out there was no Santa Claus. It is rated PG – 13 for thematic elements, language and some sexuality.