This may look like it's going to be a zany Christmas romp, but it's really a warm exploration of family connections, essentially an American take on Love Actually's multi-strand comedy-drama. At least it has an unusually strong cast and moments of hilarity scattered throughout the story. And while it's never very deep, the themes are strongly resonant.
The Cooper family is gathering for what Charlotte (Diane Keaton) hopes will be one last perfect Christmas together. She knows that her 40-year marriage to Sam (John Goodman) is on the brink, but is ignoring that to plan a massive dinner. Their son Hank (Ed Helms) is stinging from divorce and unemployment, while daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) has picked up a hunky soldier (Jake Lacy) in the airport and asks him to pose as her boyfriend so her family will stop asking about her love life. Meanwhile, Charlotte's father Bucky (Alan Arkin) is trying to cheer up his favourite waitress (Amanda Seyfried), and Charlotte's sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) is delayed when a cop (Anthony Mackie) arrests her for shoplifting.
Narrated with wry joviality by Steve Martin, the interwoven stories are fairly simplistic, but each touches a raw nerve. And the above-average cast brings out the underlying themes without overplaying their scenes. Keaton and Goodman add subtle shades to the slightly undemanding central roles, while Arkin finds a couple of new textures to his usual twinkly grandad persona. Helms and Wilde strike the right balance in their intriguingly unlikeable roles, while Tomei gets the most complex character as a woman who feels like she's merely watched her life drift along. By contrast, the outsiders played by Seyfried, Lacy and Mackie are much less defined, but each actor brings just enough magnetic energy. The most wasted performer is June Squibb, as a ditzy old aunt who's little more than the requisite gross-out relative.
Continue reading: Love The Coopers (aka Christmas With The Coopers) Review
Charlotte Cooper is the family matriarch and all she wants is for her family to be together at Christmas. All her children are now grown up and some have kids of their own. Like most families, their bond over the years might've loosened slightly as day to day life gets in the way but Christmas is different, it's a time to reunite and enjoy the holidays together.
Easier said than done with the Cooper's. Charlotte and her husband have decided to divorce (a secret they plan on keeping from the family as to not destroy the family break) their oldest daughter lives in another state, is out of work and has been dumped by her partner and is hates the idea of going home and facing the family whilst their son is currently dealing with his daughters back-chatting ways. As many problems are there are, there must be a way through in the spirit of Christmas.
Director Jessie Nelson has described The Coopers as The Christmas Von Trapp family commenting: "I like to say The Coopers are The von Trapps of this Christmas. They are the von Coopers,"
Charlotte Cooper is determined to make this Christmas the best holiday the family has ever had, given that it's the only time of year when everyone's together. But, of course, while she and husband Sam are struggling to get everything perfect, everyone is equally struggling with other areas of their lives. Daughter Eleanor has been single for a while now, and the last thing she wants to do is arrive home without a boyfriend - again! And so, she convinces a soldier she meets at the airport to accompany her to her Christmas family reunion and pretend to be her partner, to which he reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, the other daughter, Emma, gets in trouble with the police for jewel theft, and their son Hank has his work cut out when it comes to caring for his young daughter Madison alone; especially when she starts to learn some seriously unfriendly words.
Continue: Love The Coopers Trailer
Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds hits the road for a raucous holiday, eliminating the darker edges for a sillier, ruder romp. After the four madcap Vacation movies from 1983 to 1997, the focus moves from Chevy Chase's patriarch Clark to his now-grown son Rusty. As with the earlier films, there are so many jokes flying at the screen that some are bound to make us laugh.
Ed Helms is the fifth actor in five films to play Rusty, and now he's got a family of his own. So he decides to give them a holiday to remember, retracing his childhood trip from Chicago to Wally World in California. His wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) isn't so sure about this, but gamely goes along with it, while their bickering teen sons James and Kevin (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) settle into the back seat for the long drive. Along the road, they stop at Debbie's old university and learn a few things about her wild reputation. They also visit Rusty's sister Audrey (Leslie Mann) in Texas, where she's married to a swaggering rancher (Chris Hemsworth). And they drop in on Rusty's parents (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo). In between, every stop brings a new moment of crazed mayhem.
The script is set up as an homage to the original movie, playfully riffing on the structure and set-pieces. Here, the comedy highlights include a dodgy natural hot springs and a death-defying bit of white-water rafting. All of this is infused with a surprisingly warm family dynamic amid constant gags about excrement and genitalia. Miraculously, writer-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein never get cynical about the Grizwolds. Rusty and Debbie are still hot for each other, while James and Kevin's vicious rivalry only reveals how much they look out for each other. All four actors are solid, with terrific comical timing and likeable performances.
Continue reading: Vacation Review
The Weekend Box Office results for 31st July-2nd August are in and the latest installment of ‘Mission Impossible’ reigns supreme.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation has topped the U.S. Weekend Box Office (31st July-2nd August). The action film, which was released on 31st July, made $56 million in the U.S. and Canada. The film has made over $40 million more than the other newcomer in the office, Vacation, which comes in at number 2 in the Box Office chart.
Ed Helms has spoken about his initial reluctance to follow up the 80's cult classics.
Ed Helms admits he was terrified to read the script for the new Vacation movie. "I just thought, 'No way, this is sacred!' This is one of my favourite movies," he says. "I think it was my manager who just said, 'Don't be an idiot. At least read it.' And as soon as I read it I realised it wasn't a remake. It was technically a sequel, just 30 years later."
The 1983 original spawned three sequels (in 1985, 1989 and 1997), and this summer's movie picks up the story with the next generation, with Helms playing the Griswolds' son Rusty. "This film is all new," he says. "So I can look at this character and really just bring my own instincts and energy to it. That felt great."
Continue reading: Vacation Puts Ed Helms Face-To-Face With His Heroes
What's more important than family? For the Griswold family, nothing. Rusty (Ed Helms) decides that it's time to spend a little more time with his family, and chooses to take his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate), and sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins), on a road trip across the country. The destination? The Walley World fun park. As America's favourite fun park is set to close for ever, the road trip becomes a frantic dash, which the hopes of bringing the family more together. Because what's more important than family? Aside from amusement parks.
Continue: Vacation - Full Trailer
The stars turn out for the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival, while Tomorrowland holds a child-friendly premiere in California, and Miles Teller and Jonah Hill are on location in Miami. Trailers arrive for Woody Allen's Irrational Man, the long-awaited Vacation sequel, Meryl Streep's musical Ricki and the Flash, and the Hathaway-De Niro comedy The Intern...
The 68th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on the French Riviera this week with acting icon Catherine Deneuve, who stars in the opening night film Standing Tall. She was joined on the red carpet by a glamorous line-up including Lupita Nyong'o, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller and Jane Seymour.
Catherine Deneuve at Cannes Film Festival
The red-band trailer for the reboot of 'National Lampoon's Vacation' has just been released - and it's looking hilariously risqué.
Billed as a sequel to the 1983 cult classic National Lampoon's Vacation, this comedy adventure, simply titled Vacation, stars Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. It sees the Griswolds return to Walley World at last - only this time, they're led by the grown-up Rusty (Helms), who wants to relive his childhood and create some much-needed family bonding time with a fun-filled trip to the theme park.
Ed Helms is going to Walley World - what could go wrong?
But, this being a National Lampoon film, the road trip doesn't go without a bump, with plenty of chaos and risque comedy along the way, including a delightful family swim and underwear that leaves little to the imagination.
WARNING THIS IS THE RED BAND TRAILER.
The Griswolds return to Walley World - only this time, the family is led by young Rusty Griswold and his wife and kids. The grown up Rusty is determined to pull his family together with a family vacation to the Walley World theme park, hoping it will help him bond with his sons and improve his marriage. He wants to re-live the good times he had as a kid, though his own children are less than happy about the trip. As it turns out, this generation are about to face just as much mayhem on the second vacation as Rusty and his folks did on the first; including sewage springs, awkward questions and messy car journeys.
A sequel to the original 1983 film based on John Hughes' story 'Vacation '58' - famously first published by National Lampoon magazine - the new 'Vacation' sees Clark and Ellen Griswold's son re-visiting his childhood. The new film has been directed and written by 'Bones' star John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (screenwriters on 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone') in their directorial feature debut and also sees the return of original actors Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. The movie is scheduled for release in the UK on November 13th 2015.
Date of birth
24th January, 1974
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