Movie date: Love The Coopers (PG13)
STARRING: Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei
DIRECTOR: Jessie Nelson
THE SKINNY: Charlotte and Sam Cooper (Keaton and Goodman) are planning to tell their grown-up children about wanting to separate after 40 years of marriage during the family’s annual Christmas Eve dinner. However, as the evening unfolds, unexpected surprises
test the clan’s bonds.
MARS by JASON JOHNSON
The price you pay for being middle class is that you are boring.
Unfortunately, a lot of middle-class people don't have enough self-awareness to realise how boring they are and they end up making boring movies about their boring problems - movies like Love The Coopers.
The main storyline is about the Cooper parents, Charlotte (Keaton) and Sam (Goodman), whose marriage is crumbling because they can't decide whether to take an African vacation.
Their daughter Eleanor (Wilde) can't keep a boyfriend and thinks her family judges her for it.
Charlotte's sister Emma (Tomei) is somewhat socially awkward.
Arkin plays Charlotte's dad, Bucky. He's basically obsessed with a waitress (Seyfried).
It's depressing to think someone would waste energy on a project like this.
Who would have the gall to demand payment for such an uninspired story and characters?
Who would fork over the money?
It's bad enough if it was just boring, but the fact that it's also sanctimonious puts it into one-star territory.
The voice-over that is supposed to be the voice of wisdom just sounds patronising.
Hollywood, please stop making heartwarming dramedies about dysfunctional families that are secretly kick-ass families.
You suck at it.
VENUS by JOANNE SOH
It's that time of the year for a feel-good family film.
Holiday flicks are supposed to bring out the smiles, the occasional tears and that warm, fuzzy feeling.
This Christmas offering does nothing for me.
It's not that the cast is terrible. On the contrary, there are three Oscar winners (Keaton, Tomei and Arkin) and the other performers are credible, too.
In addition, director Jessie Nelson is the person behind the touching I Am Sam (2001).
Not much thought is given to this story, other than having an array of flawed characters under one roof.
No rationale is given for each family member's actions.
What's so wrong about being a devoted mum that Sam (Goodman) would suggest divorcing Charlotte (Keaton)?
The strained relationship between sisters Charlotte and Emma (Tomei) has so much potential but isn't addressed properly.
The May-December romance between Bucky (Arkin) and Ruby (Seyfried) feels so wrong. There must be a reason that a 20-something would fall for an 80-something, but that's also swept under the carpet.
There are some sweet moments, such as the family singalong session, with Helms and Arkin playing the guitar and ukulele, but they are not enough to elevate this above the overall blandness.
If not for the headliners, Love The Coopers would not see the light of day.
THE CONSENSUS: Love The Coopers? Alas, this holidayseason movie will make everyone loathe them. If a pIcture