Saturday, December 11, 2010

Everybody's Fine

Directed by Kirk Jones.
2009. Rated PG-13, 99 minutes.
Robert De Niro
Kate Beckinsale
Sam Rockwell
Drew Barrymore
Lucian Maisel
Damian Young
James Frain
Melissa Leo

Frank (De Niro) has recently become a widower. He lives alone while his four adult-children live in four different cities across the country. They are supposed to come see him this weekend for a small family reunion. However, they all cancel at the last minute. Frank then decides to go on a journey to pay each of them a surprise visit.

Of course, Frank discovers that he doesn’t know nearly as much about his kids as he thought. In addition, we’d be hard pressed to say they even give a crap about him, the way they shoo him from one destination to the next. And yes, each of his offspring phones ahead to the next one he’s going to see, so the surprise is shot pretty early.

The melodrama mounts as we, and Frank, realize his kids have been duping him for a long time about a great number of things. Sadly, there’s little mystery. We know that this is all just hurtling towards some great revelations and a happy ending. To make matters worse, we’re robbed of the big dramatic moments and the histrionics that one par for the course for such movies. True, they would’ve been cliché, but they may have added some life to the proceedings. Instead, everything is revealed, to us and Frank, through a supernatural event that fits this movie like a round peg in square hole.

Those of you prone to crying over movies will probably have a few of your tears jerked. For me, it comes off as way too hokey and undeserving of its impressive cast.

MY SCORE: 5.5/10

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