Amateurish filmmaking at its finest. There isn’t a whole lot wrong with Everybody’s Fine on the surface, but its structure and narrative are lazy lazy lazy.
Here are a few tips: if your movie takes place from one character’s point of view, DON’T have lame voiceover phone calls between other characters. You’re telling us more than the main character of the film knows when we should know ONLY what he does. Next: if you choose to have a clichéd dream sequence, DON’T have the person gain new information in the dream. People don’t learn any new information from their subconscious. I don’t know that capital of Zimbabwe, and if I have a dream, I can’t learn the capital of Zimbabwe. Dreams only reveal to us what we already know. One last thing: if you are driving a point home (which includes a major plot twist) spend a little more time on the subject than just one 7-second tracking shot. I was left confused by the outcome of one character, and therefore stop giving a shit.
Okay, enough. You get the point. I wasn’t expecting much from this Robert De Niro family drama, about a widower who goes around the country to surprise his four children only to find that they all of big bad secrets, but I can say that it was worse than I thought it was going to be. Even De Niro, seriously hoping for some About Schmidt-type praise, can’t save this dud. Some of you may venture to it for your dose of sappy holiday film fever. Don’t. It doesn’t take place during the holidays. The Christmas stuff in the trailer and on the poster are just marketing ploys.
Johnny Boy/Vito Corleone/Travis Bickle/Jake La Motta/Rupert Pupkin/Al Capone/Jimmy Conway/Ace Rothstein/Neil McCauley.
Robert De Niro… where have you gone? D