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Love the Coopers – Dysfunctional Families And Holidays

By Ranny Levy – Founder/President of KidsFirst! 

This new Holiday “dramady” from Jessie Nelson will brings tears and laughter to your face. It reminds me of a Nora Ephron film with all the family and personal drama going on all at once. There is a bit of profanity and mild sexuality so I wouldn’t take your younger kids but, for teens it’s a must-share! It has a great ensemble cast led by Diane Keaton and John Goodman who make a very believable couple with kids and grandkids that are all slightly off kilter. Steve Martin, who narrates the film through the eyes of the family dog, is the glue that holds the story together. And, the love story between Angie and Sergeant is truly a highlight of the film.

As Leo Tolstoy said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But, look out! You might just see your own family in this film. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, “My two favorite characters are Joe and Eleanor, played by Jake Lacy and Olivia Wilde, because they have great chemistry together and I kept rooting for them to finally become a couple.” See her full review below. 

lovethecoopersLove the Coopers

By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11Love the Coopers

Love the Coopers directed by Jessie Nelson is a holiday comedy full of subplots that get many of the people in the audience laughing.  This movie is packed with big stars such as John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and Amanda Seyfried.

This movie is about an extended family, the Coopers who come together every Christmas and have a big family dinner party. It’s about how their individual lives and how their family acts when they are together.

My two favorite characters are Joe and Eleanor, played by Jake Lacy and Olivia Wilde, because they have great chemistry together and I kept rooting for them to finally become a couple. Their story provides the most humor and is the strongest subplot in the whole movie. Their scenes are hilarious and made me really believe they should be a couple.

love the coopersThere are many great actors in Love the Coopers, and there are some flaws. Charlotte and Emma are supposed to be sisters with negative history and competition, but the age difference between Diane Keaton and Marisi Tomei (who play them) is too great to be believable. It doesn’t make sense. Also, I was disappointed that some of the big stars aren’t used to their full potential. For example, Amanda Seyfried, a great actress from Mamma Mia isn’t in a lot of scenes and Steve Martin is used only as the narrator. This left me wanting more.

I found the plot and characters a little hard to follow in the very beginning.  It’s difficult to know who is who because they switch back-and-forth from different family members without telling us who they are.

Every set and scene reminds us that it is Christmas, including the funny, the good and the bad aspects.  It gently pokes fun of holiday traditions and made me wonder about some of my own.

I rate Love the Coopers 3.5 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed the clever writing, but I didn’t really relate to the sisters or to some of the inappropriate humor.

I recommend it to ages 12 to 18 because there is some extreme kissing and inappropriate public behavior. They also say tell some religious jokes about Christians and they use some mild profanity. This film is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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