Saturday, November 14, 2015

Love the Coopers mixes a little bit of humor with a lot of family tension

Movie:    Love the Coopers

Rating:    PG-13

Grade:   B-

In a Nutshell:    Timed perfectly for the holidays, the talented cast gets slogged down with a sappy and predictable script that mixes a little bit of humor with a lot of family tension.  Even so, did it tug at my heart-strings and successfully elicit tears from my eyes.  Yup.

Uplifting Theme:
·          “You can be the hero of your own life.” – Ruby (the lovely Amanda Seyfried)
·         “Try and be the person you want to become.” - Narrator

Things I liked:
·         The cute Christmas/Santa montage at the beginning will quickly get you in the mood for the holidays.
·         While the movie focuses on Christmas, there are several  shout-outs to Hanukkah.
·         As a film critic, I appreciated the discussion that Ruby and Bucky had about an old Charlie Chaplin film and its inspiring ending.
·         The storybook narrator offers interesting insights.  SPOILER ALERT:  The voice is from our beloved Steve Martin!
·         Diane Keaton is timeless.  And she always looks great in a scarf.
·         One of the character’s names is Bo (played by Maxwell Simkins).  That’s my son’s name!
·         Sam (the loveable John Goodman) plays with words that always evoke laughter from the audience.  He lists the famous Christmas reindeer as “Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph and Nixon” and Santa’s brothers as “Panta, Janta, and Mylanta.”
·         The babies in the Maternity ward of the hospital are all dressed as Santa.  Adorable.

Things I didn’t like:
·          Everyone spends the majority of the film lying to each other, hiding things, and being disappointed in one another.  Funny and unpleasant.
·         The family sings Christmas carols together and it’s Diane Keaton who gets a solo….NOT the talented Amanda Seyfried.  What the heck?  Come on!
·         Madison, the little girl played by Blake Baumgartner, says “You are such a D—k” several times.  NOT adorable.
·         There are a couple of offensive Jesus jokes.  Seriously?  Especially at Christmas time?
·         Blatant product placement annoys me so much.  In this film… McCafe.
·         People often offer each other terrible advice.  For example, Bucky the grandpa tells Hank (Ed Helms) to “go out and get some.”
·         I’ve always thought Olivia Wilde was beautiful, but I really hated her arrogant, condescending, disrespectful, dishonest, slutty character, Eleanor.
·         Sloppy French kissing.  Funny, but gross.
·         Interesting title.  And I'm not even talking about the lack of proper punctuation. If the Coopers had just loved each other better, this film wouldn’t exist.  The Coopers spend the entire film “searching for comfort and a little more joy” this Christmas season.

Funny lines:  
·         “You’re way too cute to be a Republican.  Please tell me you’re not one of those Republicans who believes in Fox News, but not evolution.” – Eleanor (Olivia Wilde)
·         “All we’d have to figure out is how long we’ve been together and what’s your name?” – Eleanor
·         “I don’t think volunteering counts if you just talk about it.” – Joe (Jake Lacy)
·         “Calm down.  Man up and let’s lie to my parents.” – Eleanor
·         “That was the best dinner I’ve ever had in my entire mouth.” – Aunt (June Squibb)

Interesting lines:
·         About the holidays:  “Everyone panics, as if you can schedule happiness.” – Bucky (Alan Arkin)
·         “Perhaps it’s unreasonable to expect married couples to grow at the same rate for 40 years.” – Narrator
·         “You love everybody at arm’s length.  Keep it up and you’ll end up alone.” – Bucky  (Alan Arkin)
·         FOMO = “Fear Of Missing Out.”   Is that the new YOLO?
·         “Isn’t it interesting that we want to run from our families and impress them at the same time?” -  Eleanor
·         “Such a fuss when everything we want is right in front of us.” - Bucky

Tips for Parents:
·        The Coopers are definitely NOT role models for your kids:     Infidelity, flatulence, selfishness, lack of respect and kindness.   The good news is that they finally figure it out by the end of the movie.
·         Some profanity and crudeness.
GREAT Christmas movies:

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