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Directed by: Jessie Nelson
Starring: John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, Ed Helms, Jack Lucy, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei, and Olivia Wilde.
As part of my twelve Christmas movie reviews in twelve days, I really wanted to add a film from the current year. I’ll be making sure to the same again next year, too. It was a toss-up between this or Krampus. In the end, I decided to go with Christmas with the Coopers. I’ll explain
It’s Christmas Eve, and Sam and Charlotte Cooper (Goodman & Keaton) are making preparations for their annual Christmas Eve celebration with four generations of their extended family. All isn’t as it seems for the Coopers. Sam and Charlotte are separating after forty years of marriage and want to spend one final Christmas with their family, before their divorce. Over the course of the film, all the guests reveal their respective problems whiles rediscovering the spirit of Christmas.
I had low expectations going into the Cinema, but I left pleasantly surprised. I think it helps that there’s a strong cast assembled here with the likes of John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton and Amanda Seyfried. Keaton and Goodman make a very believable couple, and having Steve Martin, who narrates the film through the eyes of the family dog, was a nice touch (I had no idea he was in it to be honest, only found out when his name appeared in the end credits). For the record, I just want to say that I think John Goodman is a tremendous actor. He continues to impress me with his wide spectrum of characters. He’s the total package. He’s funny, serious and keeps the stories together as the stereotypical head of the household.
Each of the main characters have their own little sub story going on, which paints the picture that there’s more than meets the eye with Cooper Family. On the outside, they are the wholesome all-American family, but on the inside, they’re just papering over the cracks. All these stories will touch your heart. They’ll make you smile, laugh, and sometimes, cry.
Admittedly, the plot isn’t great and I felt they should have shined the spotlight on certain other characters, too.
Christmas with the Coopers really makes you think about your own family during this Christmas period. It highlights the importance of making the most of the occasion and to cherish the memories because you’ll never know when it will be gone for good.
A hidden gem of a Christmas film.
Rating: *** (Aye it’s cannie)