Coopers' Christmas Warren P. Sonoda

Coopers' Christmas Warren P. Sonoda
Thanks to Coopers' Christmas — formerly known as Coopers' Camera, back when it was doing the festival circuit in 2008 — I have now seen Dave Foley fully nude three times. I get that in some rudimentary shock value capacity there is humour in having the penis of a pudgy, middle-aged man flop out from his robe, just like having Kathy Bates hop into a hot tub naked in About Schmidt was funny (I've deliberately voided At Play in the Fields of the Lord from my mind). But I feel strangely violated. I mean, this was the member of Kids in the Hall that made the most convincing chick. The reason I even mention such an arbitrary thing is that it's probably the only noteworthy event during the entire runtime of this indie Canadian comedy. Using the faux framing device of edited home movies from a newly acquired VHS camcorder by the Cooper family in 1985, this pseudo-raunchy holiday film mixes together National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Trailer Park Boys. Jason Jones plays the clueless Clark Griswold with slightly less enthusiasm and more booze, while Samantha Bee does Ellen with more exasperation and less unconditional love. See, Nancy (Bee) has a thing for Gord's (Jones) brother Tim (Peter Keleghan). Rumour has it that her eldest boy, Marcus (Nick McKinlay), might even be his. This familial drama unfolds amidst copious drinking, tobogganing, incest jokes and a racist Uncle Nick (Mike Beaver) occasionally urinating in a sink or tossing out the casual slur. As a premise, this could work — there's really no reason that a group of moderately talented comedic actors couldn't make something out of a low budget comedy. Unfortunately, it seems they stuck to a script that really had nothing remotely funny going on. They cover the gamut of scatological crudity in search of humour, talking about hermaphrodites and conversing with characters while they defecate, but it's all in vain. For example, Gord decides to make a welcome sign for brother Tim, whom he hasn't seen in several years. Said sign reads, "Brothers Unite" and has a picture of a hand holding a corndog with mustard shooting out of the top. Inevitably, the sign is damaged, reading "Brothers Unit" when he holds it up, leaving the hilarity of masturbatory imagery to speak for itself. Included with the DVD is a commentary track that's about as fun as the movie, along with a "Making of," wherein Dave Foley excitedly talks about doing nudity while Mike Beaver comments on the size of his piece. I suppose it was nice of him to notice. (Anchor Bay)