"Everybody's Fine" is a thoughtful holiday movie that teaches us how to appreciate differing definitions of success. The story revolves around recently widowed Frank Goode's grown and scattered-to-the-four-winds children (Goode is played by Robert De Niro). De Niro grounds the story as a father whom not everyone necessarily wishes they had had. Frank's high expectations for his kids--David, Amy, Robert, and Rosie--create revealing consequences when Frank hits the road to reunite with each of his progeny. Frank is unable to locate his youngest son David, a Manhattan-based artist whose recent arrest in South America has the other siblings talking in hushed tones about how to keep David's troubles secret from their dad. Frank next heads for Chicago to visit his distracted daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale) at her plush home before going to Denver to reconnect with Robert (Sam Rockwell), a tympani drummer for a symphony orchestra. Last on Frank's list is Vegas, where Rosie (Drew Barrymore) pretends to work as showgirl. A dose of disappointment accompanies each visit as Frank comes to a realization about his identity as a father. Based on Giuseppe Tornatore's 1990 film "Stanno tutti bene," writer/director Kirk Jones fulfills the material's dramatic demands without putting too fine a point on Frank's emotional awakening. But De Niro's naturalistic performance is what captures your imagination.
Rated PG-13. 95 mins. (B-) (Three Stars)
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