A Must See Holiday Film For All: ‘Love The Coopers’
Director: Jessie Nelson
Writer: Steven Rogers (screenplay)
Stars: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde, Anthony Mackie
Classic Christmas movies have a magic that can’t be manufactured, and “Love the Coopers” certainly embodies that. From the mind of Steven Rogers, who wrote the hit romantic film ‘PS I Love You’, ‘Love The Coopers’ follows Diane Keaton and John Goodman who play Charlotte and Sam, a long-married couple waiting for their extended family to arrive for the big meal, at which they intend to announce that they’re separating. We see the various family members making their way toward the gathering. There’s the son (Ed Helms) with the broken marriage, jobless and adrift. There’s Charlotte’s sister (Marisa Tomei), who is arrested while trying to shoplift a Christmas present. There’s a grandson (Timothée Chalamet) in the throes of romantic infatuation. There’s also Olivia Wilde and Jake Lacy, whose characters do an opposites-attract dance after meeting at the airport.
Arguably the film’s highlight is the story involving Charlotte’s father Bucky (Alan Arkin) and his platonic crush on Ruby (Seyfried), a troubled waitress who works at the diner he frequents every day. Bucky and Ruby share an almost magical connection. They feel closer to each other than just about anyone else. When a bad snowstorm strands Ruby at the diner, Bucky asks her home for Christmas.
Seyfried really shines in her role among the major characters, and Seyfried has fewer lines and less screen time than just about anybody else. Yet, somehow, the actress communicates not only Ruby’s sadness and vulnerability but also her touching belief that she can start all over again with a new job in a new city.
“Love The Coopers” at its heart, is about love, and being set over the holidays makes it the perfect Christmas treat. Although it may not be as dramatic as some in the same genre, but it’s absolutely worth a watch. It has a lot of laughs, and an earnest ending that leaves you feeling quite warm and full of the Christmas spirit.