Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Everybody's Fine

How strange to make a film so sad as this at Christmas time. The film ads and posters show a smiling, happy crew headed by Robert DeNiro. Take a long, hard look because that is about the last time you'll see them happy. DeNiro is a newly widowed father who kept in touch with his adult kids via his wife (the usual). Now that she is gone, he invites them but they don't come. They planned to, but since one of them is in prison in Mexico, they all cancel. So he goes to find them. Yet, he has a lung disease from working with PVC wire that insulates phone lines- so we are supposed to get the irony that he made all that communication possible, but no one calls him. Anyhoo- he does visit them and they are each hiding something so they don't disappoint him. You get the drift. Parts are absolutely wonderful- but the story becomes oppressive. The children all love their father but they won't tell him the truth?? It is very 1950s in that respect. DeNiro plays a very wise and caring father. It seems odd they wouldn't tell him his kid was in Mexico in prison. The end of this movie is a miserable failure- was it an homage to Christmas spirit that they tied it up tightly with a bow? Should you see it?- no, you should wait and rent it. It's too down for this time of year.