“Everybody’s Fine” Is Unexpectedly Moving

Genres: Comedy, Drama and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Release Date: December 4th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language.
Distributors: Miramax Films


Directed by: Kirk Jones

JJ Rating: B+

Usually the children come and visit the parents. But since Frank’s (Robert De Niro) wife died the children have been acting weird. They decided not to come and visit for several different reasons. So Frank decides to go and visit them. Everybody’s Fine.

This film isn’t doing so well at the box office. It is also another remake. I happened to have time and I went and saw it. I didn’t really know what to expect because the trailer was very secretive. I believe that that is a good thing, but I think that for this film it was a little too secretive. It wasn’t presented in such a way that would make people WANT to see it. Plus based on who is in the film it’s not like they are really crowd drawing actors.

Everybody’s Fine strummed a few heart strings and tinkered with my tear ducts. I think that having brothers would do that with this film (as with Brothers). I can’t say what happens at the end but I think it is one of the better endings to a drama I have seen in a while. I liked it. It moves slow (like I said Invictus did) but it was a slowness I understood. I think it moved a little too slow at times and that could have been fixed to make it have a reasonable flow. Clocking in at an hour and forty minutes I shouldn’t be able to feel it drag, but I did. It also had a few scenes cut out from the trailers. I hate that. I hate when they have scenes in the trailers that are not in the film itself.

I like how the story used Frank’s job throughout the film. It was used for transitions between scenes and I think that was a great idea and it was well done. There was great cinematography that stunned me to see because I was not expecting to be in awe over such a visual display with this type of movie. I also enjoyed the use of children. Frank would see his kids and they would revert to how they looked when they were in elementary school. It was clever and very useful in one scene where they are all at dinner outside. That was one of my favorite scenes because it was the most revealing of what was actually going on. Frank showed how observant he actually could be.

It is unfortunate that people will skip this movie and not see it because it is dwindling into theater oblivion. I think given the chance there are many people that will enjoy this despite what many critics have to say. They could see the film and link it to their life and their kids or their brothers and sisters. If you are a crier be prepared to release some tears come the last 15 minutes of the film.

I also really like the title. Many times the title doesn’t fit the film. But this title is a great summary of the entire film. Everybody’s Fine is how the kids talked to their father because he couldn’t handle the bad things that were going on because he expected them to be so perfect in every way and be the best at what they do.

Everybody’s Fine is a great film for parents to see because even though you want the best for your kids you should also realize that sometimes the best you think is so isn’t so for the child. And all children want (no matter what they say) their parents to be proud of them. It doesn’t matter if that parent isn’t there in their childhood. Children want that proudness from their parents and parents just sometimes don’t get how much a child wants it. This film shows that in subtle ways and I think that is one of the many things it does right. I love how it doesn’t share everything out right and allows the viewer to see and think on their own. Everybody might be fine but what does fine mean? Parents should care more than to just hear that things are on par. Everybody’s Fine shows underneath what “fine” really means. Enjoyable, touching, moving and oddly enriching Everybody’s Fine gives what many moviegoers want. Sit, watch and be moved by a film you didn’t expect to be moved by.

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