Movie #338 2020: Love the Coopers (2015)

Bear with me on this one. It’s not quite as terrible as it may first seem… I know, I was sceptical too.

Love the Coopers is actually known as Christmas with the Coopers in the UK. Don’t ask me why; both titles are equally average. Yes, this is one of those big name ensemble movies, each of them having their own branch of the story to tell. Eventually, the Cooper Family all finally come together on Christmas Eve, culminating in some home truths being brought to light. When the evening results in tragedy, the family must come together, put their differences aside, and rally together to comfort one another. Very ‘spirit of Christmas’.

Just take a look at that photograph above. What a ridiculous cast for such an average Christmas movie. Love you, Diane Keaton. And you, Olivia Wilde. And you, Anthony Mackie. And you, June Squibb. Oh ffs, I love you all. I guess this movie was quite an easy buck for the lot of them, which is fair enough. Thankfully for the viewer however, their quick pay day raises the bar for this otherwise quite predictable movie, and their various performances make it all the more bearable.

What I saw coming the least was how relatable some of these people were. Sure, they’re all ridiculously good-looking movie stars in reality, but they managed to personify some very likeable characters. One quote stood out, actually.

“I believe in the power of Nina Simone’s voice. I feel like that’s the closest I’ll get to religion.”

– Eleanor Cooper (Olivia Wilde)

If there was one sentence to summarise my world view, that would be it.

In all honesty, there’s nothing super exciting about the plot and it does get super tedious 70% of the way in, but there’s something really heart-warming about it all. It’s kind of like one really long and ridiculous episode of This Is Us and I’m not mad about it. Don’t expect cinematic excellence and you’ll probably agree.

Despite the fairly obvious plot, I actually laughed quite a few times during this, specifically during any Keaton/John Goodman scene. Olivia Wilde had her moments too, and as expected, Marisa Tomei brought some of her best comedic timing to this one.

Yes, this is pretty average Christmas drivel, but it’s syrupy sweet, feel good drivel and I’m not sorry for enjoying it. It is too long though. Let me stress that fact.

Love the Coopers (or Christmas With the Coopers) is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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