Movie Reviews

Published on November 13th, 2015 | by Jennifer Fiduccia

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Love The Coopers

Love the Coopers is a new movie directed by Jessie Nelson and released
through the collaborative efforts of CBS Films, Groundswell Productions
and Imagine Entertainment.

It has a large and recognizable cast of characters, including Dianne
Keaton (Charlotte), John Goodman (Sam), Ed Helms (Hank), Alan Arky
(Bucky), Marisa Tomei (Emma), Olivia Wilde (Eleanor), June Squibb (Aunt
Fishy) and Steve Martin (the dog, Rags!).

Based on the previews and trailers that I saw, I expected more laugh out
loud comedy than I got out of the film. There was plenty of laugh out
loud comedy, don’t get me wrong, but what I expected out of the trailers
was a “dumb” comedy, rather than a poignant, rather touching (and at
times tragic) love story wrapped up in a comedy.

The basic premise is that Mom Charlotte and dad Sam want to have “one
last” family holiday full of happiness and good cheer and wonderful
memories, before they drop the bombshell on their family that they will
be splitting up after 40 years of marriage.

Charlotte has spent her whole marriage keeping the family together,
making sure everyone is “ok” and of course, as frequently happens, has
grown distant from her spouse Sam in the midst of that.

The story is told from the point of view of Rags the family dog (voiced
by Steve Martin) who has watched the family grow together and then
apart, through the years.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and thought that it was a good story
that showed how a family dynamic can change over the years and how it
isn’t always in the best of ways. It also portrayed how family
relationships are perceived from the point of view of the people that
are actually IN the relationship, as well as from an outsiders’ view.
Some parts were “cheesy” but for the most part, I was really able to
connect with the story as a whole. Even though some of the intertwining
story lines by themselves were a little dis-jointed, when they all came
together under the umbrella of the main story line, somehow, it just
worked.

I liked that I connected emotionally with Charlotte and could FEEL her
connection to her kids and how she loved them “bigger than anything” and
just wanted what was best for them, even though it didn’t always come
out that way, and even though it distanced her from her husband. I think
that happens “in the real world”, a lot more than people realize or
think about.

The movie made me laugh, and it made me cry… It occasionally made me
groan in a “Really?! Did they have to do THAT??” sort of way, too, but
overall I really enjoyed it.
I would give the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review By James Buckes

“Love the Coopers” falls into same themes a most Holidays/Christmas movies, thankfully the writers went on to use the actors qualities to the fullest. John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei are the biggest names in it and they do some of their best acting, but I feel like the newcomers, Amanda Seyfried or even child actor Maxwell Simkins showed that they can more than keep up, sometimes actually out-acting the seasoned actors.

Filmed in the same style as Valentines Day where they take 4 separates stories and bring them together to make a cohesive and coherent whole. The writing and direction was right up with the quality of the actors, where normally one of the aspects of the filming would be missing, but they left almost no holes in the plot and it seems everyone put their best efforts in.

Now I am done praising, let’s get to the plot. The audience is taken through the separate lives of four parts of one family, from the patriarch’s (Alan Arkin) daily meal he takes in a diner just to see and visit his favorite waitress. We are next taken through a divorced families trials, where the youngest son Maxwell Simkins as Bo, who is trying to get the best present he can find for his older brother who is taking the divorce of his parents really hard. Then we are taken to Marisa Tomei’s character Emma who is caught stealing a brooch and befriends the officer, William, who is taking her into the police station. Olivia Wilde’s character (Eleanor) befriends Joe (Jake Lacy), who just joined the military in the airport where the flights are all cancelled due to snow, so they get to know each other and she takes him the the home where the whole family is meeting up for Christmas dinner. The stories combine and the family finally airs all their problems and fix them.

I give Love the Coopers 3 stars, even though it is a great cast, directors and writers, it is still just another rehash of the same old Christmas themes that come to the theaters every holiday season.


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