Love the Coopers (Blu-ray)

February 11, 2016 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s rather amusing to see a movie with the word love in the title when your feelings for it are anything but that. Love the Coopers is a painful viewing experience that’s full of multiple unlikeable characters for which I cared nothing about. It’s one of those flicks with over a handful of characters all scurrying to meet at one location for the holidays. Before we see them all together, we’re treated to an endless charade of scenes between them, all leading to where they ultimately settle down and try to enjoy the holidays together. Emphasis on the word try. Much like I tried to enjoy this awful film. In fact, it was such a miserable experience that I did get one joy. That’s the knowledge that I could have some fun writing a negative review of it. If there’s one hope, it’s that this review will reach at least one person who will be spared the misery of enduring this torture. What is so frustrating is that we have not only a big cast, but a reasonably talented one as well. What some the actors saw in this script is beyond me.

The film begins with a narration by the family dog (I’m not kidding) who is voiced by Steve Martin. There are too many characters and situations to list here, but that’s also where the dog comes in; to keep the audience up to speed on what’s happening. Your guess is as good as mine as to why Steve Martin would do this, but at least he’s smart to only use his voice for this mess, and not show his face. John Goodman and Diane Keaton play the Cooper parents, Sam and Charlotte. They’ve been married a long time, but things are somewhat bumpy at the moment. They decide that they’ll spend this one last Christmas together before parting ways. They have a son played by Ed Helms who’s currently out of a job. Olivia Wilde plays another daughter who’s scurrying around the airport like a buffoon, knocking into things and people. This happens more than once, by the way. Amanda Seyfried, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and Anthony Mackie show up as well, but none of them are worth investing in. Before we even get too far into one story, we’re pulled away to another. Usually this would cause a problem, but since there’s not a single interesting character here, I stopped caring about the jerky narrative.

Usually a good cast can at least get us through a bad movie to some degree. That doesn’t happen here. None of the situations are the least bit interesting, the characters aren’t compelling and the story structure frustrating. Heck, even the film’s soundtrack got under my skin. This is a film so bad that I kept waiting for a dog to come in and start humping someone’s leg. While that didn’t happen, there was a young child who calls everyone a dick. Maybe that’s what passing as amusing to some, but not me. It’s rare to see a film where you have zero empathy for a single character in it, but that’s the case here. I couldn’t wait for the film to end. Avoid this mess at all costs.

Video: How’s it look?

This is your typical holiday movie and, as such, we’re greeted with the obligatory snow covered houses and trees along with the bright, twinkling lights (because, otherwise, you might not know it’s a holiday-themed movie). The ensemble cast looks great, detail is off the charts and the entire film seems to ooze everything that we’ve come to expect from a Blu-ray. A few scenes seem a bit off, nothing too detrimental, but enough for me to mention it here. While not perfect, it’s close as we would probably all expect.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Steve Martin has one of those instantly recognizable voices, so it was a surprise to hear his voice and then associate it with a dog. Unfortunately that’s about all the pleasure I got out of the movie and this DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack checks all the boxes.  There’s an ample amount of ambient sound in the surrounds to fill the air, vocals are rich and pure while the front stage carries the score well.  There’s not a lot else to say here, like the video it serves its purpose but not much more.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Making Love the Coopers – If you were holding out for an hour long documentary on the making of the film, well…continue to wait. This is nothing more than your standard EPK with interviews with the cast and crew as well as some behind the scenes footage. Moving on…
  • Rags the Dog – A look at the dog voiced by Steve Martin in the movie.
  • Fun on Set – A look at the kids in the film.
  • Music Video – “The Light of Christmas Day ” by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant (yes, Robert Plant).

The Bottom Line

Annoying, unfunny and full of dull, empty characters, I had anything but love for the Coopers. Easily one of the worst films of 2015.

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