Saturday, December 12, 2009

Everybody's Fine (Review)

     Despite a weeks worth of less than stellar reviews, I still wanted to see "Everybody's Fine."  I'm glad I did.

     "Everybody's Fine" is a family drama starring Robert De Niro as a recent widower who's looking forward to all four of his adult children coming home to visit.  When they all cancel on him, he, being retired and having nothing better to do, decides to go see them.  From there, we see three out of his four children and their perfect, or less than perfect, lives, and De Niro's character begins to piece together that everybody is not fine, despite his children's best efforts to hide the truth from him.  Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell all deliver good performances as the family hiding something from dad and De Niro delivers his usual best.  (De Niro is a legend for a reason and shines in just about anything.)

     One might expect a lot of teary eyed melodrama or each member of the family to be picture perfect on the outside but hide dark and terrible secrets in a drama like this, and I am pleased to say that this is not the case.  Sure, the kids are not telling dad everything, but this is part of the tension.  They've spent their lives trying to make dad proud and confiding in mom, and that's gone now, but that's the story; a much more true to life drama about a family finding a new dynamic to exist in when the old one is gone. De Niro's character isn't fine either, nobody's fine, but, by the end, we discover that, while nobody's perfect, everybody actually is, fine.  (More or less.)

     I enjoyed "Everybody's Fine" for the same reason I enjoyed "The Big Chill;" it's a slice of life, something that is rooted in reality and is not over dramatized.  I can see this happening.  It happens everyday.  Life goes on, you can't achieve perfection, but you can be happy, and that's, ultimately, what's important.


  1. I've been debating seeing this movie because I've seen the mediocre reviews but I feel like the great cast would make it worth it. Sounds like maybe I should give it a try (probably with my mom).

  2. It's better than the previews give it credit for and, I think, worth watching. Be careful though, it might just start multi-generational conversations. :)