Everybody’s Fine DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover for Everybody’s Fine is genuine and happy, unlike a good deal of the movie, which can be sad and somber.  It is a decent photo of the cast, and not a bad little snapshot of the family.  Overall is is okay, but not memorable.

The same can be said about the menu for the movie, which features more still shots of Frank’s family.  It is a static menu (this is a DVD) and it is presented on a tan background, which makes it seem even more dull.  The cover and menu are average at best.

Features: 4/10

  • The Making Of Paul McCartney’s “I Want To Come Home” – In this almost 10 minute long making of video, we get to see Paul McCartney as he explains the process of writing a song for the movie.  You have to love Paul McCartney, and he just seems to always enjoy life and what he does.  A nice little extra, if not 100% movie related.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – There are several scenes that did not make it into the actual movie that are included here.  We get to see Frank as he interacts with smaller characters, as well as some extended scenes that deal with the way he handled his kids as they were maturing.  These are some good scenes, and any extra scene with Robert DeNiro is fine by me.  Unfortunately these two extras are the only things included.  They are good, but they are not enough.

The Movie: 6/10
Everybody’s Fine is an interesting movie.  On its face it should have been a gigantic hit.  Robert DeNiro, teamed up with such big names as Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, how could it be anything but a hit?  Well the movie going audience didn’t see it that way as it had a disappointing run at the box office.  Upon seeing movie trailers I remember thinking that I would like to see it simply based on the type of character that Robert DeNiro seemed to be playing, and the whole thing seemed interesting, but then it came and went in the box office and I didn’t hear much about it.

The movie is all about DeNiro’s character Frank Goode, whose wife has recently passed away.  Frank is a quiet guy, who plans for a family get together at his house, and he genuinely seems excited about seeing his kids, who seem a bit estranged from him.  As it turns out, nobody seems to be able to make the trip, much to Frank’s dismay.  In his effort to get back in touch with the family, he decides that he will surprise each of them by showing up on their doorstep unannounced, which of course is always the best way to rekindle lost relationships.  The results are at times tough, and Frank sees that his kids are in the throws of their own life journeys, and he finds that his kids are desperate to show their father that they have made something of their lives.  Each of his kids wants to impress their father, as he apparently was a stern father and one who demanded a lot from each of them, especially his son Robert (Sam Rockwell).  As Frank travels to see his kids, he learns that perhaps what they have told him about their lives is not necessarily the truth, but instead what they think he wants to hear.  Robert, for example, is not actually the conductor of the orchestra like he has told his father, but instead plays an instrument in it.

It seems as if Frank’s entire family is eager to send him on his way, as they view the old guy with disdain.  His daughters Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and Rosie (Drew Barrymore) are the same way, as they can’t seem to get rid of Frank fast enough (even though his grandson is genuinely happy to see Frank).  Frank is forced to deal with the fact that his kids are not exactly thrilled to see him, and the reason is perhaps the way he brought them up, with harshness and high expectation.  The result is not exactly what I would call a feel-good comedy, but it is a decent movie and a nice lesson in family values.  (As a father, this one makes you think about how you raise and love your kids).

Overall Everybody’s fine is a great title, because nobody in this family really is.  It is a tough movie at times, and there are some real heartfelt, tearjerker moments.  The acting was quite well done, and while this was not the best of DeNiro’s movies, it is nice to see him in this type of sentimental role.  Overall this movie was good, but not great.

Audio & Video: 6/10
I was not overly impressed with the somewhat dull video presentation.  Presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic wide screen, the video presentation was good but not great.  I understand that this is not a Blu-ray, but overall it just seemed dull in spots and somewhat fuzzy at times.  The coloring was pretty good, if not a tad warm, and while there are some really nice scenes overall (lots of outside shots are good), overall I was unimpressed.

The audio was pretty good, in contrast with the video.  It was muted (as is the movie) but there was nice use of the 5.1 Surround Sound when needed.  Dialogue was spot on.

Value: 5/10
Everybody’s Fine is not a great movie.  It is a good movie, with some good acting, and a good story.  The movie is not what I would call a comedy, which seemed to me to be the way they tried to sell this movie originally.  I liked all of the cast, including Robert DeNiro, who I feel showed a side that we don’t always get to see from him, which was a saddened, every-man type of character.  Everybody’s Fine is worth a rental if you can live with the fact that it is not going to blow you away.  It is a tearjerker, and a good display of good acting, but don’t expect to walk away feeling like it was the best movie you have seen, because it is not.  Just try to take it for what it is, which can be at times a bit somber.

Overall Score 6/10