If there is one thing I simply cannot abide, it is when a trailer for a film, in an attempt to garner a broader audience, makes it look like something else. When a gory horror film preview makes you think it’s a taut thriller, or in this case, when the trailer for Everything’s Fine leads you to believe you are going to see a dysfunctional family holiday comedy. The dysfunctional family is there, sadly the holiday comedy is not. That’s not to say it’s a bad film. It’s just not what you thought you signed up for.
Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) is a widower who contently looks forward to his kids’ annual visit. He spent most of his adult life—like a lot of men his age—at work and left the parenting to his wife. When all of his adult children (Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell) mysteriously cancel, he dusts off his suitcase and goes out in search of some answers. What he gets are some uncomfortable and even heartbreaking realizations, as his family’s policy of share only the good news falls apart.
As I said, the movie is not bad. In fact, De Niro turns in his best performance in years, and the supporting cast is also very strong, even in the face of some nauseatingly schlocky dialogue. Nevertheless, the film is outright depressing, so it takes the family comedy crowd some time to reboot. If you’re looking for a feel-good holiday comedy that’s family friendly and uplifting, go see The Blind Side. This is a much darker beast. It's a 6.