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Everybody's Fine - drama DVD / comedy DVD review
EVERYBODY'S FINE Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Robert DeNiro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Lucian Maisel
Director: Kirk Jones   Studio: Miramax
DVD release: 23 February 2010   Runtime: 100 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen

DVD features: Aspect ratio 2.40:1, Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - Englilsh, French), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), The Making of Paul McCartney's "(I Want to) Come Home," Deleted and extended scenes

Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore in EVERYBODY'S FINEIf you're a fan of stories about families, then EVERYBODY'S FINE is an ideal movie for you. It didn't get much press when it was in theaters, but hopefully the DVD release will bring this movie the audience it deserves.

Frank Goode (Robert DeNiro) is a widower excited to host his four grown children for a family reunion/barbecue. Unfortunately, one by one the kids call to cancel, begging off due to work and other commitments. Frank decides to make a cross-country journey to surprise each of them, but his journey doesn't turn out as either he or his children expect.

He first heads to New York City to visit his son David (never seen on camera). David is not there, and the viewer discovers through a series of phone calls overheard from his siblings that David has been arrested in Mexico and that they do not want their dad to know.

Next, Frank heads to his daughter Amy's (Kate Beckinsale) house. On the surface, Amy's life is perfect. She's married with two children and has a successful job in advertising. Frank manages to see through some of her secrets, although he doesn't reveal his thoughts until later. He next goes to see Robert (Sam Rockwell), who Frank thinks is a symphony conductor but is really a percussionist. Finally, he heads to Las Vegas to visit Rosie (Drew Barrymore) and their time together is a bit interrupted by one of Rosie's friends leaving a baby to stay with them. In reality, none of the siblings' lives is how they portray it to their father, and he is astute enough to figure out the truth. The one lingering problem is that of David. How will the family handle what they are about to discover?

EVERYBODY'S FINE is a touching movie about the power of family. The underlying message - how no one's life is perfect and we all need a family to help us through - shines through, particularly at the end. The caliber of actors here is stellar, though their talents don't sparkle as much as they probably should. Although DeNiro has a meaty role, there is probably one child too many for any of their roles be anything more than brief parts.

This nonetheless wonderful film spotlights family - the messy, sometimes heartbreaking, ultimately loving group of people who can help us make it through life in the shelter of community.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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