Love the Coopers is a big fat snowball of a Christmas story detailing the lives of a sprawling family who will celebrate Christmas at Charlotte and Sam Cooper’s (Diane Keaton and John Goodman) perfectly decorated Pittsburgh home.
Every member of the family has a secret, from the pre-schooler’s off-color phrase she heard at home to all different kinds, working their way up to the big news Sam and Charlotte hope to keep until after the holidays.
Their son Hank (Ed Helms) hasn’t told his children or ex-wife he’s out of a job. Daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) doesn’t even want to go home and convinces a deploying soldier named Joe (Jake Lacy) to come home with her and act like her boyfriend. Charlotte’s younger sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) finds herself in a real jam trying to just once one-up her sister’s gift to her.
Easily the most touching story is that of Bucky (Alan Arkin), Charlotte and Emma’s father. He has a longstanding friendship with a greasy spoon waitress. He goes there daily to see Ruby (Amanda Seyfried) and they talk about books and movies. He winds up bringing her home for Christmas dinner.
There are stories of every time of life, from a teenaged pairs’ epically awful first kisses to a heart-rending moment when you see the young man who still lives inside Bucky.
Love the Coopers is told by a narrator and half the fun of this movie is seeing who the storyteller is. This movie may not be the next Christmas Story but it’s a great way to spend some time during the holidays.