Love the Coopers

Rated 2.0

A large family—Mom and Dad (Diane Keaton, John Goodman), their adult offspring (Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde), Mom's sister (Marisa Tomei) and father (Alan Arkin), Dad's aunt (June Squibb)—get together for Christmas dinner, with the gene pool varied by adding a few others (Jake Lacey as a date for Wilde, Amanda Seyfried for Arkin, Anthony Mackie as a cop arresting Tomei for shoplifting). Grudges get massaged, secrets revealed, resentments flaunted, all punctuated with lame comedy and ending in the inevitable group hug. Steven Rogers' script is smugly contrived and pseudo-profound; virtually every big moment rings false, but the talented cast strives gamely to sell them. Jessie Nelson's direction is as unfocused as the script is phony, as if she had as much trouble keeping the characters straight as we do. J.L.