Everybody's Fine

This so-so dramedy features a capable group of professionals who know their business. The film is amusing but not hilarious, sad but not maudlin, sweet but not saccharine and is content with being a peek into an ordinary family with ordinary ups and downs. A remake of the far superior Italian film "Stanno Tutti Bene," you'll see no car chases, no sweaty bodies and no blowie uppie stuff.

In this cast we see:
  • Robert De Niro ("Stardust") as a recent widower who discovers he really doesn't know his adult kids. He applied PVC coating to a million miles of telephone wire before he retired and, as a result, his health has been impaired. Telephones and telephone wire are an ever-present element in this film.
  • Drew Barrymore ("Whip It") as a daughter with more than one secret, although her mother knew everything from their many phone calls before she died.
  • Sam Rockwell ("Moon") as a son who is NOT an orchestra con- ductor, despite his father's impression that he is. In my opinion, Rockwell is a vastly underrated actor and I hope to see lots more of him.
  • Kate Beckensale ("Whiteout") as a daughter who is a partner in a successful ad agency who has a picture-postcard life...or maybe not...
  • Then there is the missing son, the one who had become an artist. He doesn't return his calls and we see those ubiquitous phone wires humming with calls back and forth between his three sib- lings as they discuss his latest plight and how much they should tell their dad.

I liked the sound track that featured Perry Como of all people, and the many panoramic shots of America as De Niro tries to surprise his various offspring after each one cancelled his/her attendance at a family reunion.