An enjoyable, low-key drama from director Kirk Jones ("Nanny McPhee"), "Everybody's Fine" (a remake of an earlier picture, written by Massimo De Rita) stars Robert Deniro as Frank Goode, a widower in his '60's who, as the movie opens, is browsing through the grocery store aimlessly, trying to pick together a nice dinner for his kids, who are finally visiting after a lengthy period away.
However, his adult children - Amy (Kate Beckinsale), Robert (Sam Rockwell), David (Austin Lysy) and Rosie (Drew Barrymore) - contact him to let him know that they won't be coming because they're busy with other issues (work, etc.) with their lives.
Saddened but determined, he tells his doctor that - despite his lung condition - he is going across the country using various forms of transit to see his children again. The visits start with David, whose work is visible in a local gallery, but he's nowhere to be found. From there he heads to Amy, Robert and Rosie.
Throughout his visits with his adult children and seeing the way that they react and interact with him as adults allows Frank to reflect on how he acted as a father and the kids reflect on how they've become distanced from their dad. Meanwhile, as Frank goes from place-to-place, the kids call ahead and talk to one another, trying to figure out how to tell their father what happened to David and where he is. Given how families become separated across the country more and more commonly these days and how it has only grown more difficult for many to make the time. Although it's a little melodramatic at times, "Everybody's Fine" takes this situation and makes for a sweetly moving tale. It's nothing terribly new (and the score goes a little overboard into sappy territory), but it's relevant in today's world, is reasonably well-written and its sweet, straightforward manner works.
The film's performances are generally enjoyable, with DeNiro providing a subtle, moving effort that is consistently entertaining. The various actors who play the adult children are fine, although Barrymore and Deniro have particularly good chemistry and are the most believable as parent/child.
"Everybody's Fine" isn't perfect, but it's a simple, good-hearted and likable little tale from director Kirk Jones.
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VIDEO: "Everybody's Fine" is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen by Disney. The presentation looks just, well ... fine, actually - sharpness and detail are pleasing, as the picture looked smooth and well-defined. No edge enhancement was noticed, but a few tiny traces of pixelation were seen. Colors looked warm and pure, with very nice saturation and no smearing or other faults. Flesh tones seemed spot-on, while black level looked solid.
SOUND: Much like the film itself, the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation that accompanies the film is reserved and straightforward, with just about no flash. Surrounds were hardly used, with the rear speakers only providing the occasional light ambience or reinforcement of the score. Audio is otherwise spread nicely across the front speakers, with clear dialogue and warm, full music.
EXTRAS: A set of deleted scenes and the making of the Paul McCartney song featured in the film.
Final Thoughts: "Everybody's Fine" isn't perfect, but it's a simple, good-hearted and moving little tale from director Kirk Jones. The DVD edition offers very nice audio/video quality, but minimal supplements.
The Film B