What better way to celebrate the first day of December than with a new festive film? With other Christmas releases I’m looking forward to, ‘The Night Before’ and ‘Krampus’, being released a little later in the month ‘Christmas with the Coopers’ seemed like the perfect unoffensive Christmas film to ease me into the season!
The film has three very distinct acts and each play their part in making this quite an enjoyable film. However, whilst watching the first act of the film – much of which has been seen in the trailer you could be forgiven for doubting how much fun can be had with the movie. It is a little bit slow to start and not all of the jokes land but it’s important groundwork that is being carried out here including vital character development which is pivotal for the final two acts. The comedy feels more natural than forced which means this film isn’t a laugh a minute but instead it ends up feeling more authentic which was actually quite refreshing. The second act features the best comedy and was probably the most enjoyable section of the film. Christmas with the Coopers is very much a dramedy, the more than common mash up of comedy and drama that we see so often these days. Usually this is a genre that fails to entertain me but here the relatable nature of the story, family dynamics and the Christmas setting only enhanced both the drama and the comedy meaning that the film actually works very well.
The ensemble cast do their job well, with each cast member fulfilling their role in believable and entertaining ways, even if it takes about an hour to get a clear handle on how everyone is related. The big names such as John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried will get people in to the cinemas and they have a great screen presence between them. There is also a surprise narrator guiding us through the film which was a fantastic touch and really adds to the movie. The film lacks the cheesy Christmas movie traits we are so used too but I liked this, of course it still manages to be cheesy in it’s own way and there is a message for the season. However this message is genuinely portrayed in an engaging and believable way meaning that it has more effect than you might first think. Due to the wide range of characters this is a film that will be easily enjoyed by all members of the family with humour and drama geared towards each generation. A clever move by the writers than nicely includes everyone in this seasonal dramedy.
So even though ‘Christmas with the Coopers’ won’t be that memorable in the long term it was the perfect start to my Christmas viewing for this year. With its focus on more realistic family drama than anything else it quickly becomes relatable and the humour flows in a more natural way. A strong cast work well together offering the audience a very presentably wrapped gift of a movie tied together with an appropraite message to think on this Christmas.
Rating – 8/10