Everybody’s Fine

Don’t be misled by the cheesy, generic poster for Kirk Jones’ retelling of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Stanno tutti bene, in which the grinning Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale pose with Robert De Niro for their characters’ family photo in front of a Christmas tree. It’s a marketing department’s feeble feint: The four actors appear on-screen together for only a handful of minutes late in the movie, and it’s no more a Christmas movie than Yentl. De Niro takes on the role originally played by Marcello Mastroianni: the father who surprise-visits his grown children who couldn’t make it home for a family reunion. But De Niro, whose deadpan is intended to signify emptiness and ache, looks mostly like a somebody doing nothing; Mastroianni’s mustache worked harder than De Niro does here. And the visits with his kids are also inconsequential. So what’s the point of all of this road-tripping to nowhere? Parents’ best intentions often get the better of their children? Sons and daughters keep secrets from their parents? Fathers with blinders on can only pretend to know best? Robert De Niro is only good at playing a dad in movies starring Ben Stiller? It’s all so much raging bull.

Categories: Movies