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Everybody's Fine - A Movie Review
Everybody's Fine; Well No Not Really
This is a 2009 drama by Writer/Director Kirk Jones. It stars Robert De Niro who plays Frank Goode, Drew Barrymore (Rosie), Kate Beckinsale (Amy) and Sam Rockwell (Robert).
Robert De Niro is a respectable, decent sort of man in this movie, unlike many of the roles he's played in the past where he's often portrayed as being tough and mean.
Frank, in his 60's has retired and his wife has passed away, leaving him a somewhat lonely man. His four children are to visit him but one by one three of them cancel their visit to him. He does not hear from his one son David, who is an artist (Austin Lysy in real life).
I saw this movie recently and found it to be quite moving.
More on the Movie
Frank feels let down by his children and decides to pay each one of them an unexpected visit.
Problem: he has a respiratory and cardiac condition caused by the work he did for years - making PVC power lines. His doctor warns him not to travel but Frank decides to embark on the trip anyway, taking his medication with him.
He takes a train to visit his artist son David in New York but he is not home. Frank sees one of his sons paintings in a gallery nearby his apartment. Before leaving for Chicago the next day he slips a letter under Davids door, saying how he wants them all to be together at the same time in one place for Christmas.
He then continues his journey and finds his daughter Amy, an advertising executive, at home. His grandson Jack (Lucien Maisel) is there; this makes him happy. But Amy says she's very busy and he leaves the following day to visit Robert his conductor son.
I could go on about each visit to his children but I'd rather you watch the movie to see how the story unfolds.
My observation of Frank is that he seems rather old fashioned in his ways; for instance he doesn't use a cellphone but mostly uses pay phones. He himself is very neat and orderly in his ways but he's at a bit of a dead end, having lost his wife and retiring recently - life just isn't the same for him anymore.
He's at a train station on his way to Vegas; he tries to help a homeless man by giving him money, but instead the man turns on him and crushes Franks tablets when they accidentally drop onto the ground.
In telephone conversations between the children it is evident that David is in trouble; he's been arrested on drug charges in Mexico. They hide truths from their father; Rosie pretends she owns a luxury apartment and is a dancer in Vegas. They don't want to say too much about David, but Frank figures out that they've been deceiving him about certain things.
On his flight home he's out of medication and has a heart attack, waking up in hospital with three of his children around him.
They tell him some sad news about David.
The remaining family members finally do get together for Christmas dinner and everybody appears to be fine. They have one happy reunion together, although David can't be with them.