Brian Truitt at USA Today couldn’t even give Love the Coopers a star. Coughing up a half star (out of four) for a “trite and predictable” film that hits a “new low” for holiday entries, Truitt also yanks out the word “insufferable.” Other critics like Truitt who are paid for their opinions fell in line, most of them panning the pic. The movie’s “tearjerking heart is in the right place,” says the Toronto Sun, but it’s a “horrible mess.” Or how about one of the “dullest, most cliché-ridden and cloying Christmas movies to hit the screen in a long time.” So says Film Journal International.
But movies, unlike Broadway plays, do not rely on critical praise anymore to succeed. Since Facebook and rottentomatoes and lots of other places make everyone a publisher, movies can appeal directly to their audiences. And early reviews from non-professionals (read: ticket buyers) tended to sound different. “Really liked it. Good cast and good balance of serious and funny,” writes Ryan at rottentomatoes. Paco says: “Lots of GREAT one liners… Great characters.. Surprise plot twists… A fun Christmas film for THIS holiday season.” Steve D — what’d you think? “Very good serio-comic ensemble piece by an all-star cast. Stay to the credits for a pleasant surprise.”