Love the Coopers | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG-13 · 107 minutes · 2015

Comedy drama
Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to an ensemble comedy-drama is for one vignette to be so much more interesting that all the others feel even worse. Directed by Jessie Nelson and written by her Stepmom co-screenwriter Steven Rogers, it pulls together four generations of a Pittsburgh family for various dysfunctional crises: Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and Sam (John Goodman) are about to separate after 40 years of marriage; Charlotte’s sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) has been arrested for shoplifting; Charlotte and Sam’s son Hank (Ed Helms) is struggling with being unemployed and freshly divorced; and their daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) is flirting with a soldier named Joe (Jake Lacy) she met at the airport. This latter story is actually fairly charming, capitalizing on some genuine chemistry and a welcome respect for Joe’s conservatism. But the rest borders on excruciating, as weird fantasy moments clash with messier realism, all underscored by narration (by Steve Martin) that spells out every already-obvious emotional beat. It’s lovely that these people could figure out that they actually care about one another, but the audience barely gets 15 minutes worth of reason to love them.


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Director: Jessie Nelson
Producer: Michael London, Jessie Nelson, Janice Williams, Kim Roth, Anna Culp, Ted Gidlow, Steven Rogers and Diane Keaton
Cast: Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde, Alex Borstein, Jake Lacy and Steve Martin

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