Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Diane Keaton – Charlotte Cooper
John Goodman – Sam Cooper
Amanda Seyfried – Ruby
Ed Helms – Hank
Olivia Wilde – Eleanor
Jake Lacy – Joe
Marisa Tomei – Emma
Alan Arkin – Bucky
What can I say. Diane Keaton was exactly the same in Christmas With The Coopers as she is in most of her other movies. When a movie stars Keaton you can be sure of two things:
– dressed in a snappy suit, she frequently throws her head back with a satisfied grin, hands clasped together in front of her like some sort of businesswoman.
– with that classic ‘head throw’ she sways. Sort of moves her entire body to the right at such an angle, she looks as though she’s about to float up and away stage right.
– she delivers most of her dialogue with a scream or surprised face like a disappointed mother. And although theatrical, hardly anything she says or does is genuinely funny.
And here we go again.
As Charlotte Cooper, the actress brings a strait-laced, busy but organised mother to the screen. She effortlessly coasts through the 105 minutes like she always does, delivering comic moments in the form of talking under her breath and surprised facial expressions.
Like she does in everything else.
Yes, the female Liam Neeson dresses the same, speaks the same, looks the same, acts the same in Christmas With The Coopers.
I therefore conclude Diane Keaton was – sadly – everything I’ve seen before with no refreshing performances during any part of the movie.
I don’t want to put a total downer on the feature, but the overall casting was bloody awful.
..what a strange ensemble.
I could instantly tell most of the cast had been thrown together without a whole lot of consideration, because of how (incredibly) different they all were. Some movies serve up a brother or sister pairing where the chemistry between the actors is so good, they pass for believable. Unrelated actors and actresses obviously won’t resemble each other facially – but get the casting right and the on-screen relationship can sometimes seem like they are.
Unfortunately, this was where Christmas With The Coopers nose-dived spectacularly. This bunch of misfits didn’t seem like a family at all, none of them seemed to gel properly with each other and overall, this movie was like telling a story of random (unrelated) people’s lives who eventually come together – or don’t – like Love Actually or something. During the first few beginning scenes the movie jumps from person to person with missing links – leading me to wonder who the hell was who, who was related, what was going on, etc.
Very shabby stuff.
The scenes involving Eleanor and Joe which take place inside an airport are just shocking.
Delaying the movie massively are moments such as him and her strutting up and down a moving walkway whilst discussing their hobbies and interests, and the pair sat in an airport lounge waiting to be called whilst having a very slow, sombre conversation. Kicked off by Eleanor entering an airport bar and sitting directly between two men then immediately going off on a random rant of conversation (no one would do that unless roaring drunk – movie or not), these scenes lost my attention immediately and I found myself becoming agitated at watching two people who only just met discuss their favourite foods, favourite musicians, and things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Added to this was a bizarre train journey out of the airport which saw random close-up’s of Eleanor’s face.
Like some sort of documentary where the focus is on the main person’s face, the camera zooms in on her eyes as she glances out the window.
Then pans out to view her from a distance.
Before focusing on him.
And then back to her.
Before zooming back in on her soft, rosy cheeks as she delivers another tedious line of script.
What didn’t help was how irritating Eleanor was; her wayward personality reminded me of the kind of girl you see drunk in bar who everyone wants to smack because of how irritating she is; being overly flirty with the guys, mouthing off at random people, etc.
Her rebellious phrases, sloppy facial expressions, careless attitude.. it all made me cringe as she left an imprint in my mind as ‘the annoying one’.
I wondered seriously how anyone at Imagine Entertainment had even enjoyed this movie let alone commission it, due to its weird filming techniques and very unrealistic scenarios. Yes, I’m aware it’s a movie but for fuck sake – it was bordering on ridiculous. Filmed in the right way with a dynamic cast ensemble, relevant stories and characters the viewer could appreciate or even relate to, Christmas With The Coopers could have been a very warming festive film. Unfortunately, the director’s artistic hand backfired.
Also known as Love The Coopers, Christmas With The Coopers is one movie I will – unless forced – NEVER watch again. Its tacky sub-plots seem to spiral off into nowhere, with each family member being introduced, but absolutely no substance linking them together. The fluidity of this movie is shocking, bouncing from one scene to another as each family member faces his or her own ‘issue’.
One daughter (Seyfried) seems to be admired by a customer in her café who is, unnervingly, at least fifty-five years her senior.
Another is a shoplifter who somehow befriends the police man who arrests her and turns him into her friend.
The son whose daughter loves shouting the phrase, “you are such a dick” in public – a random element the producers clearly threw in because they thought it would be hilarious and add festive cheer. But wasn’t.
The girl stuck at the airport trying desperately to flirt with a stranger, the parents, even the fucking dog – yes the family pet – has a narrative role.
Every aspect of this movie got on my nerves. Far from funny, it is nowhere near the standard of what a family Christmas movie should be and I would advise anyone to avoid it at all costs.
It’s so bad I refuse to write any more about it.
End of review.