Even film’s with shiny names in the cast sometimes take me years to finally watch. Such is true of this 2009 film about family dysfunction.
Everybody’s Fine (2009) Film Review
Cleaning the house and going on a grocery run is two of the big tasks Frank Goode (Robert DeNiro) must undertake. This because all four of his children are finally coming back home to visit him for the first time in a while. As he sets up the back yard, one by one, they call off. All have a different excuse. Tired of being the parent no one ever told anything to, Frank decides to set out and visit his kids on his own all in the hopes of discovering the secrets they have.
First he tries to see his son David (Austin Lysy) who isn’t home. Next, he visits his eldest daughter, Amy (Kate Beckinsale), a professional with her own business, husband and a young son. Amy is the world’s definition of success. Next there’s Robert (Sam Rockwell) who does nothing like his departed wife let Frank believe of Robert. Finally, there’s Rosie (Drew Barrymore). Sweet Rosie is working as a waitress in Vegas and even with some challenges of her own, she’s perhaps the only one glad to see her father…
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Even it’s big name cast doesn’t really “save” this film for me. There’s clearly always been a kind of hunch as to why I never did rent this one. Though I did see it often enough. However when you see it on Netflix, usually you get around to watching it at some point. While I do enjoy the chance to see Kate Beckinsale (A&E’s Emma) or Drew Barrymore in something I haven’t seen before, I’m just now a fan of the pace of this film.
It moves slowly and takes Frank across the country. The kind of underlying message of phone lines is sweet and I do like the notion that Frank wants to remedy things with his kids; he wants to understand why they are this way (as a family) and what went wrong. That’s admirable. However, I don’t respect the kids for the easy lies they tell him. It’s a kind of unhappy scenario that is made more so by their deceit.
In the end, most things play out well and we have an inkling and impression that with time, as the titles says, everyone will indeed be fine.
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You can find Everybody’s Fine digitally on Amazon Video
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Content: there’s some profanity (maybe an f-word, sh*t, etc.) and some minor innuendo. There’s some thematic elements as well like illness (and the potential implications of that), death, gambling, and one character is homosexual or bi. The film is PG-13.