Love the Coopers [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Abraham Phillips (6th March 2016).
The Film

"Love the Coopers" could have been a good, or even a great film with the cast of actors and actresses it had, but in the end it failed and was a very dull, sad, and ultimately boring attempt at creating another good holiday film. The characters where its ultimate downfall, not necessarily bad acting, but with bad scripting, terrible dialogue and execution of that dialogue.

The plot is nothing major, you are introduced to Sam and Charlotte. They are basically the modern older couple, both on the verge of divorcing. But it’s that time of year again. So each of them put on a smile and that happy holiday cheer to entertain the family coming home. Then you are introduced to a slew of characters, Hank the couples out of work son. Hanks teenage son Charlie. Charlotte’s sister Emma. The Aunt named Fishy, who is losing her memory. Bucky who is Emma and Charlotte’s father. Then you come across the main basic character of the story, Eleanor is the daughter of Sam and Charlotte. Eleanor is having an affair with a married man and she decides to ask Joe to pose as her boyfriend to bring home to the family. This leads to unexpected things happening and everyone's Christmas doesn't go down exactly as planned. Family issues rear their heads, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

As I mentioned previously, "Love the Coopers" has quite the cast, an all-star cast in fact that includes the amazing one-of-a-kind Diane Keaton. The often underrated and under-appreciated John Goodman features prominently. It doesn't stop there - the beautiful Olivia Wilde, the powerhouse Alan Arkin, the brilliant June Squibb, Jake Lacy, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Ed Helms, and Anthony Mackie. Yeah, how about that for a cast? Oh one more thing... Steve Martin is also in this! (Ok, just his voice, but still). With this long list of prominent performers you would expect the cast to carry this film and there's and equal expectation the film would be quite solid, but once again we have a sloppy script getting in the way. The script is really the major fault here - dialogue is often cringe inducing, the cast walk through this film like it's a quick payday, additionally the editing fails to hide these scripting flaws.

There is some competent directing going on here, but along with the terrible plotting, the film doesn't really know what it wants to be... Is it a comedy? Or holiday movie? is it for the family, or geared towards an adult audience? I don't know, because I don't think the filmmakers knew either. Had the characters been compelling, and the story been more tight knit with a clear vision of being a holiday comedy, then perhaps we'd feel more compelled, more emotionally attached. Instead we get the opposite.

The movie really loses its appeal with too many drawn out scenes of the family bickering and fighting, it's meant to be comical but seems to go too far, or just seems a little too crazy. I felt that many of the characters just get on your nerves. The characters ended up dark. The comedy was hiding behind this and never could come out where it needed to be. The weirdness/darkness of the characters took too much away from that warm and cozy feeling of the holidays and family. "Love the Coopers" tries too hard and as the audience feels like the laughter is forced.

So that is the low down to the film. At times it is fun, but ultimately becomes a hot mess of weirdness, bickering and forced comedy. In the end I wanted the movie to be over. Even with a running time of 107 minutes, it was 70 minutes too long.

Video

Presented with a 2.40:1 transfer, in 1080p 24/fps with MPEG-4 AVC encoding. This image is a flawless example of how good a film can look in HD. There are no faults of this transfer in my opinion. A beautiful vibrant transfer with spot on colors, edges and overall sharpness.

Audio

An English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is included. There are no flaws here either. The crisp sound makes one aware of everything that is happening. One of the strongest realities to this product is the sound quality and use of the surround in an immersive fashion, considering the film is mostly a dialogue driven comedy the surround channels are put to good use for subtle environmental and direction sounds. Optional subtitles are in English, English SDH, and Spanish.

Extras

Three featurettes, a music video and a collection of bonus trailers are what you get here in terms of supplements, below is a closer look.

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

"Making the Coopers" featurette runs for 12 minutes and 12 seconds. This is a basic behind-the-scenes making-of EPK feature.

"Rags the Dog" featurette runs for 1 minute and 16 seconds. One of the best, although brief features on this disc - it's an exploration of the wonderful dog in the film. A great program showcasing this sweet animal.

"Fun on Set" featurette runs for 54 seconds. This is a program that features some of the kids from the film.

A music video is also included performed by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. It runs for 3 minutes and 21 seconds.

Rounding out the extras are a collection of bonus trailers for:

- "Miss You Already" which runs for 2 minutes 31 seconds.
- "The Choice" which runs for 2 minutes 25 seconds.
- "Don Verdean" which runs for 2 minutes 27 seconds.
- "The Duff" which runs for 1 minute 52 seconds.
- "The Big Wedding" which runs for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
- "Last Vegas" which runs for 2 minutes and 31 seconds.

DISC TWO: DVD

This is a DVD copy of the film, included is an insert with a code for a digital copy version of the film.

Packaging

Packaged in a two-disc keep case with a slip-cover.

Overall

"Love the Coopers" is a movie that could have been an excellent holiday treat but ended up becoming too much of a hot mess. The great actors and actresses can't save this one.

The Film: D Video: A Audio: A Extras: C Overall: C-

 


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