Everybody's fine film review
Everybody's Fine is a touching film starring Robert Dinero. It is much sadder than I expected it to be and you are likely to cry when you watch it. Robert Dinero plays the character Frank Goode. He had a career working in a wire factory, coating the wire that runs across telephone poles. He is retired and a recent widow. He has four adult children- two daughters played by Drew Barrymore (Rosie) and Kate Beckinsale (Amy) as well as two sons.
By Frank's and his children's own account, the children used to tell their mother everything but hold information back from their father because he was always too hard on them. Their mother was a good listener while he is a good talker.
Frank invites his four children to visit him because he wants to get the whole family together but they all cancel on him at the last minute. In his disappoinment, he spontaneously decides to travel to see them.
He is going to surprise them and they are dispersed all around the country. He is having health problems with his lungs and his doctor has advised him not to fly. He decides to take trains and charter buses for each trip.
His travels take him to Chicago and Las Vegas among cities. The first person that he tries to visit is his son who ends up not being at home. Frank leaves a note and continues on to visit one of his daughters, Amy.
His daughter Amy appears happy to see him but does not entertain him for long. She makes up excuses for why his visit must be short. During his short stay, he enjoys a Chinese food dinner with his daughter, son-in-law and grandson but he notices a lot of tension between his son-in-law and grandson.
Frank also visits Amy's job and is very impressed that she is part owner of an advertising company. He even takes pictures of her at work. He is very proud. He has taken his camera along to take lots of pictures of his children, their families and the various events.
After visiting his daughter, Frank visits his son Robert (played by Sam Rockwell). He arrives and surprises him at his workplace, an orchestra. Frank has the impression that Robert is the conductor but he is actually a drummer in the ensemble. Robert feels that Frank is disappointed and Frank tries to assure him that he is not.
Frank's visit to Robert is not a surprise because Robert is given a 'warning' by his sister and also advised to make an excuse to keep the visit short. Robert tells Frank that he has to travel to Europe that same day for work! That is his excuse.
Of course, Frank is wondering what is going on and why his children seem to be being deceptive. He worries about the first son he tried to visit, David. He notes that among all his children he worried about David the most his whole life.
Frank's final visit is to see his youngest daughter Rosie in Las Vegas. Rosie is also given the heads up regarding Frank's visit when she gets a call from Robert.
Frank is to be expected in Vegas on a bus but does not show up. He missed his bus because of time changes and failure to change his watch accordingly. He is told about an alternate way to get to Vegas and heads for a train. Along the way he gets mugged and the malicious mugger crushes Frank's bottle of medicine.
Frank plans to contact his doctor as soon as he can but in desperation, he also pick up the remnants of his pills off the ground. It is very sad to watch him continuing to try to take his medicine during his journey. It is a good thing he picked up the pills because when he calls his doctor he is told to go to the doctor's office in person and a replacement bottle would be held at reception but Frank is nowhere near his home city now.
When Frank gets to Rosie's place, they make plans to go out to dinner but her friend drops off a baby that they need to watch as a favor. They decide to eat dinner in the apartment and Frank heads home the next day. Against doctor's wishes, he opts to take a plane so he could get home more quickly as he is worried about not having his medicine.
Will Frank get back home safely? Will his still be able to get his family together soon? Rent this film today to find out. Everybody's Fine is a heartwarming film with a very realistic depiction of the way life can be for an aging father as he tries to connect with his adult children. The film is not action packed or too intensely dramatic. There are no special effects here but it is a quality film that will hold your attention and jerk at your emotions although slow moving at times. I rate it higher than I expected to:
4/5 stars ****
Written and Directed by Kirk Jones
Starring: Robert Dinero, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and others.
Paul McCartney contributes to the soundtrack with a beautiful song, "I Want to Come Home".