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Christmas With The Coopers

 

When four generations of the Cooper family come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all towards a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of Christmas. 

I am trying to start on a positive, as I am afraid that there are not many to speak of. Ok. So, Christmas with the Coopers definitely looks great - all sleek and glossy – unfortunately I think that was to distract from the lack of story.  In fact the whole film is cluttered with flashy directorial choices that seemingly aim to distract from a convoluted narrative. We get flashbacks, fantasy scenarios, emotional moments ‘sign posted’ by uncomfortable close-ups, split-screen and even clips from (actual funny) movie classics.

The dialogue is heavy with cliché, and you can hear the over-writing in the character’s dialogue – for instance, when Joe asks Eleanor if she believes in God, she replies: “I believe in the sound of Nina Simone’s voice”. I mean. Wow. It is only Olivia Wilde that can manage to give some credibility to such a cheesy line, and in fact, she gives the whole film the only credibility it earns. All the other characterisations are one-dimensional, on occasion, managing to eke some charm, but for the most part this talented cast's abilities are lost. 

Christmas With The Coopers certainly boasts Christmas sparkle and an impressive ensemble cast. However, it falls very short of other films in it’s genre (The Family Stone, also Diane Keaton), feeling somewhat too predictable, forced, and lacking the wit and warmth of it’s counterparts. No Christmas magic here - stick to your well-loved classics this holiday season! 

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UK Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
USA Release Date: 
Friday, November 13, 2015