I don’t want to be a negative Nancy but this film is nothing what you would expect from the trailer. When I went to watch the movie I was expecting a really light hearted funny film with a romantic undertone. This definitely wasn’t the case like most families this family comes with a lot of baggage and while there are a couple of hilarious scenes the majority of the film is actually quite emotional.
If you’re not familiar with the plot of the film here’s a quick synopsis. For their annual Christmas Eve celebration, Sam Cooper (John Goodman) and his wife Charlotte (Diane Keaton) welcome four generations of extended family, including son Hank (Ed Helms), daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) and Charlotte’s father, Bucky (Alan Arkin). Sam and Charlotte are separating after 40 years of marriage, while Hank is in the middle of a divorce. As the guests reveal their respective problems, they also rediscover the importance of kinship and the spirit of the holiday.
While the movie was rather different to what I was expecting after coming to terms with a change in mood I quickly jelled with the main character. Olivia Wilde was the perfect choice for the character Eleanor. She is beautiful but not Hollywood beautiful. She’s definitely out of my league but she is attainable at the same time. Her character had an element of goofiness that really made you warm to her from the beginning. I always enjoy Diane Keaton, once again she didn’t disappoint. She is the perfect actress to play an overbearing wife/mum and pulled off her character Charlotte perfectly.
I never really expect too much from film locations in these kind of movies. The most important thing is that the airport looks and feels like an airport. The house used as Sam and Charlotte’s home was homely which really enhanced the Christmas and family vibe of the silly season. Personally I love seeing a white Christmas so I really liked the fact that it was snowing in the film.
While it isn’t on my list of MUST SEE movies, it was an enjoyable watch and if you’re stuck for a Christmas film this year then definitely check it out. I would have enjoyed the movie a lot more had I known there was a bit more substance to it before sitting down in the cinema so consider this your warning.