Once again Hollywood fails to rise to the challenge of actually producing a Christmas story that rises above the predictable and the trite.
Once again, it is the time of the year that Hollywood decides to bludgeon everyone with yet another trite, predictable, and truly unremarkable Christmas movie. Yet another Hollywood Christmas disaster movie, Love the Coopers (*) is truly a waste of a brilliant cast and an even more brilliant narrator. Where is A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life when you need them? Where is A Miracle on 34th Street or A Christmas Carol?
The sorry tale begins in the fabled and magical land of Pittsburgh with, of course, the Cooper family, according to USA Today. The director of this tale, Jessie Nelson, makes a fragmented and clunky attempt at interweaving four different story lines that follow various members of the Pittsburgh Coopers. The film wastes the notable talent of skill of both John Goodman and Diane Keaton who are preparing their home in the anticipation of, you guessed it of course, the big family Christmas get together and dinner. Oh, and Keaton and Goodman are thinking of breaking up.
So, enter the next predictable phase of this movie. In these interrelated family storylines, once again the movie absolutely wastes great and formidable talent in the likes of Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei. This to say nothing about the rest of the respectable cast of Alex Boorstein, Anthony Mackie, Jake Lacy, and Olivia Wilde. One son is out of work, the elder Arkin pines for and wants to visit his waitress love who is moving to Mississippi and the younger sister, Tomei, is arrested for shoplifting by the stoic and even tempered Mackie. And, finally, the younger daughter played by Wilde who is wringing her hands at the airport because she doesn’t want to go home and visit her crazy family alone. So, she talks a cute soldier home on leave that she meets at the airport to come home with her and pretend to be the boyfriend. And, of course, what cute guy can say no to a beautiful girl? Oh, you’ve heard this one before?
Finally, there is the legendary Steve Martin who is your narrator and who seems quite befuddled in trying to make any sort of rational sense out of all of this predictable mess. Perhaps the biggest problem is the script. It simply isn’t funny. It seems like it could of had potential but it really just escalates downward into someone farting and blaming it on the dog. The only real bright spot in the movie is the young daughter and the cute soldier. Wilde and the soldier, played by Jake Lacy, really have some tender moments and the chemistry between them works.
Other than that, this movie has stayed faithful to all of the stereotypes that have been done to death. From a Santa Clause riding on the subway to dogs wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, this movie has left all of the old, tired, and un-funny, fully intact.
**** A great movie. A must see.
*** Very good. Worth both your hard earned money and your precious time.
** OK but could have been better. See it if your in the mood for a movie.
* Don’t bother. Don’t wasted your hard earned money or your precious time. Go outside and play instead.