Director: Kirk Jones
Writers: Kirk Jones
This week’s Streaming Saturday is a movie whose trailer never really did anything for me. When I saw the trailer for Everybody’s Fine a few years ago, I wrote it off as a sentimental family movie with a good cast but not much else. It slipped my mind until I watched it a couple weeks ago. It turned out to be much better than I expected.
The movie is about Frank Goode (Robert De Niro), a widower who takes an impromptu road trip to visit each of his grown children after they canceled on a planned visit to him. It’s a remake of a 1990 Italian movie. This movie could have been a overly sentimental family movie that spent its 99 minute runtime dipping its toes in melodrama.
That isn’t the case, though.
At times, Everybody’s Fine is slightly depressing. Robert De Niro delivers a moving, layered performance that is ultimately very moving. I immediately connected to Frank and his desire to reconnect with his kids. When I saw Silver Linings Playbook I was floored by De Niro’s performance and happy to see him take a role that wasn’t a sequel to Meet the Parents. I had the same feelings with this movie.
There’s also a strong supporting cast that make up Frank’s children. The screenplay does a great job of handling Frank’s kids. The movie doesn’t vilify them for not visiting him. Instead, the script gives them their own reasons for handling things the way they do. The kids’ subplot is great and comes together with Frank’s story in a really satisfying way. It makes for a very engaging and touching final act.