Christmas with family brings with it certain inevitabilities.
The host’s house will either be uncomfortably warm or uncomfortably cold, you will eat way too much food, and in spite of everything, you’ll mostly only remember the good stuff.
The titular family of Christmas with the Coopers (out on DVD this week) all haul their own baggage to the Christmas table.
Here are some moments that are especially relatable to anyone who’s had to navigate family during the holidays…
Pretending everything is fine
The holidays are for some reason the time of year we pretend (with varying degrees of success) there’s nothing to feel rubbish about, and maybe this is why so many of us are more comfortable sharing the details of our personal lives with virtual strangers on the internet than we are with our own families.
Whether it’s parents Charlotte and Sam (Diane Keaton and John Goodman, respectively), who have elected not to mention their impending separation to the kids and grandkids until after the holidays, or Hank (Ed Helms) keeping his now long-running unemployment to himself, no one is ever allowed to have bad news at Christmas.
There will be someone you low-key resent because they’ve clearly got it together
Younger sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) has always felt that Charlotte was the more successful of the pair: Charlotte’s married with a beautiful house and beautiful kids and grandkids, and Emma, well… her hair’s super cute, and she’s very good at making friends with sexy police officers.
But just remember this: you may resent somebody else for how great their life is compared to yours, but somebody else low-key resents all the cool stuff you’ve apparently got going on.
Being the one single person at the party
Because no one enjoys year after year of being grilled by parents and siblings and aunts and grandpas about when you’re going to settle down, as if you have an answer. As such, Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) figures it would be easier this particular year to employ the creative solution of bringing a stranger along as her pretend boyfriend than endure another season of the good old annual when-are-you-going-to-get-it-together-and-settle-down interrogation.
As a practical awkwardness evasion strategy, you would think this would result in an eventual quiet announcement that you’ve broken up (but long after Christmas of course, because Christmas is all about pretending everything is fine), but then again…
No matter how many years have passed, parents and kids are always parents and kids
And somehow, despite being mostly functional adults at least 70% of the time, stick us all in a room together and it’s like no time has passed.
So of course Charlotte is still going to make that concerned face about Eleanor’s life choices, and know exactly how to get under each other’s skin without even trying. But you still love each other… even if you don’t always like each other.
No matter how you feel about the rest of the family, it’s impossible not to love the dog
(Even when they tuck into the human food when nobody’s looking.)
Rags, voiced by Steve Martin, is a very good boy. Yes he is. What a good dog. Happy Christmas, Rags.
Christmas With The Coopers is out on DVD, On Demand and to download now.
What’s your favourite moment in Christmas With The Coopers? Let us know below…