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Everybody’s Fine – Rating: C

Submitted by on December 16, 2009 – 9:29 AMNo Comment
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What would the holidays be without family? In Everybody’s Fine, recently widowed Frank Goode (Robert DeNiro) almost finds out when his children ditch him before a would-be gathering. Although the trailer makes the film seem like a heartwarming comedy, be forewarned. Unfortunately, the film is more of a pity party than a laugh fest.

This holiday film opens with Frank prepping for his children’s first trip home since the death of their mother. But as life would have it, everyone unexpectedly cancels last minute and his plans are dashed. Undeterred, Frank decides that if his kids won’t come to his home, he is going to make a surprise visit to theirs (even if it is against his doctor’s orders). But by the end of the trip, Frank discovers that his family’s lives aren’t as picture perfect as he thought­–leaving him the most surprised of all.

He first stops in the Big Apple, where his artist son David lives. But after spending a day on his son’s doorstep, Frank realizes David is nowhere to be found and he moves on to Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas to visit the rest of his brood. But instead of being welcomed with open arms, he is shuffled from one child to the next. With each destination he uncovers major secrets- his daughter’s husband left her, his other daughter had a baby, and his son lied about being an orchestra conductor. Plus, David is still missing. In the end, the family makes it together, if not the way all of them expected.

While the film had its endearing moments, it was overall akin to Frank’s trip- clunky and disappointing. It promised holiday cheer but came up short . In fact, the Goode clan only happily comes together in the last few minutes. For the most part, it’s a tragic saga about a dad who slowly realizes he doesn’t know his kids as well as he thought. Luckily, by the end of the movie he sees that despite his family’s imperfections –get ready for it– ‘everybody’s fine.’ But by that point it is too little too late.

Beer pairing: Celebrate the festive theme with a YuleSmith Holiday Ale. During the winter months it’s released as an Imperial Red Ale and is appropriately decorated in a red and green label.  This malty beverage has big hops and plenty of aromas to keep you sipping until Spring comes around.