DESPITE its offensively unpunctuated title, Love the Coopers is a holiday movie I didn't hate! That doesn't mean you won't hate it, though, because (A) it is narrated by a dog, (B) it almost concludes happily with an amicable divorce, which would have been such a normalizing, progressive treatment of a deeply common American experience, except then it backpedals at the end because I guess collective misery is easier than being alone, (C) I don't know why the casting director thought that Ed Helms and Amanda Seyfriend are the same age; they are not, (D) there's a cute Jake Lacy/Olivia Wilde "hey, I just met you, and this is crazy" subplot, but it's essentially a low-rent Before Sunrise, and (E) Alex Borstein plays a harpy wife, because idk, I guess all wives are harpies? (Oh wait, what was that? Oh, all women are harpies. Got it. Better fetch my maenad hat.) But, sorry, none of those things are as offensive as that red ink-courting title. Behold the power of the comma: It's what can turn a strange demand ("Love the Coopers!") into a cheery sign-off ("Love, the Coopers"). Confidential to director Jessie Nelson: I am available as a freelance proofreader for your next movie, because missed. Opportunity.
AND YET. Maybe it's just because it's stuffed with likeable actors (Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomei, John Goodman, Alan Arkin), but Love the Coopers is at, the very least, a whole lot better than most terrible holiday movies with the word "love" in the title. (I can't be the only one who thinks Love Actually should just have just been Emma Thompson leaving her philandering husband for her cute BFF Liam Neeson.) So if Aunt Gretel wants to go see a picture after you fill up on green-bean casserole and Cousin Chuck again tries to discuss Social Security at the dinner table, well, you could do worse.