Written by Pollo Misterioso
Much like its title, Everybody’s Fine is deceiving in how it really wants to be. Seemingly a film about everything being all right, it becomes unsure of what it has to say about the inner workings of a family. Much like a band-aid on a large gash, you may say that you have everything under control, but not everything is fine.
Marketed as an adult family film about a “picture perfect” holiday that doesn’t go as planned, the film masks what it is really about; the sad and challenging ways that a family connects and communicates. Unsure of what the audience is to expect, at least we have a talented cast to lead us along.
It has been eight months since Frank Goode’s (Robert De Niro) wife has passed away and as he prepares for a family dinner with all of his kids, they all make some excuse as to why they cannot make it. Frank then decides to go to them, surprising them at their homes. He first travels by train to visit his son David in New York and is unable to reach him so he hops on a bus to Chicago to see his daughter, Amy (Kate Beckinsale). Unable to house him, she drops him off on a train to Denver to meet up with his other son Robert (Sam Rockwell) and when he can’t stay there, he moves onto his last destination. He finally makes it to Las Vegas to see his daughter Rosie (Drew Barrymore) who finally puts him on a flight home after he is finished with his trip.
Throughout his trip Frank realizes that not one of his children has told him the truth. Amy is having trouble at home, lying about her son’s schooling and trying desperately to cover up a failed marriage. Robert finally tells his father that he does not have the job that Frank thought he had and Rosie lies about her apartment and her newborn child all because she does not want to hurt her dad. David is nowhere to be found—thought to be detained in Mexico, and any information is kept from Frank. Unable to speak to their father about their lives, Frank finally gets through to them in the hospital after he is admitted for a mild heart attack that he experiences on the plane.