Is start thinking about the holidays in July. No kidding.
I’m a true believer that there is no time too early to get in that spirited holiday frame of mind. Scooping up interesting little gifts at farmers markets and during travels, plotting out decorations and recipes, it all makes me happy.
So when I got an invite to a free preview screening of the first of this season’s holiday movies, Love the Coopers, I didn’t hesitate and grabbed my man for a midweek date night!
Armed with a bag of peanut M&Ms and some Butterfinger ice cream bites, we stuck in for what we hoped would be an entertaining hour and a half.
It started on a bit of a wobbly foot, highlighting a range of obstacles that people can face at the holidays – gift shopping, hosting pains, relationship strains, family expectations, job loss, travel troubles, grinches, etc. Each character has his or her own sad story that somehow are all connected to the main plot line of a family coming together for Christmas.
While it’s not a side-splitting comedy, it isn’t without its laughs. There are also moments when the awkwardness of the on-screen characters’ situations are almost palpable and you find yourself peeping through split fingers spread over your face. Somehow, the movie finds it’s way through it all with a somewhat cliche almost-tragic moment that brings them all together and magically makes them realize the true meaning and importance of being a family during the holidays.
N and I both agreed that it doesn’t really hit that elite level of of some of our holiday favorites, like “Love Actually,” “Family Vacation” or even “The Family Stone” (which is also directed by Jessie Nelson and includes Diane Keaton as a female lead), but it definitely rings true as a cute holiday flick.
There’s not too many people who can watch this film and not relate to at least one or more of the challenges that various characters face, but there’s something about a holiday movie that wraps up the stories in a nice warm and fuzzy holiday bow.
Granted, there were a few loose ribbons at the end, but it added some quirky charm somehow. Like a wrapped present that maybe used a bit too much tape and didn’t quite line up the paper patterns. It still make you happy and you’re still thrilled to tear into it, despite the missing precision and polish.
I’d vote to enjoy the quirky charm, embrace the holidays and give it a go, but I also am sucker for oh-so corny Hallmark Channel holiday movies.
Love the Coopers hit theaters today, so if you check it out, let me know what YOU thought! Bonus point if you realized who and what the narrator of the movie was before the end. And try those Butterfinger ice cream bites – they’re amaaaaaaazing.