Tuesday 1 December 2015

The Current Cinema - Love The Coopers - My god its Preston Sturges and Bob Dylan

The first steer I got about Love the Coopers (Jessie Nelson, USA, 2015) was from critic Shelly Kraicer's Facebook page  "This is very confusing: I'm watching what appears to be a very good new movie. It's sort of disorienting. I had forgotten the feeling." Initially obscure but others quickly guessed it was Love the Coopers which was the cause of the consternation. 

He's right. This is such a gentle comedy you think it may be far too cute. Not so. This is a movie that just might have been made, once upon a time, by the great Preston Sturges. Smart, funny, frequently surprising even though every step of the way has been planned with the slide rule of Hollywood confection. What can you say except how utterly enjoyable it is. 

And there is a bonus. The music track gives credit as "Music Archivist" to T Bone Burnet and T Bone has delved mostly into Dylan and the 60s for inspiration. Works a treat. Almost gets to karaoke moments. (Now I am feeling particularly good about T Bone at this very moment so here's one of his very own great versions of the classic Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Please enjoy.)

Which brings me to a teeny carp. The dance sequence at the end is nice but hey, why not, once everybody is up on the floor, go for a big segue into a Bollywood formation. Its my favourite way of ending a romantic comedy and I was let down.

So who’s responsible for all this magic. The director Jessie Nelson has made two other features over the course of fifteen years or so. The writers are complete unknowns to me so as per usual it’s Wikipedia which gives them up. The first named is Maureen Johnson “an American author of young adult fiction. She has published ten young adult novels to date, including the Shades of London series and the Suite Scarlett”. Never heard of her of course. Then there is Lauren Myracle “an American writer of young-adult fiction”. I’m not sure that that’s where Hollywood is inevitably heading to find new writing talent but this one has paid off. Enjoy. 

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