Everybody’s Fine ?!

The last weekend the state TV showed Everybody’s Fine (2009) stars Robert De Niro. Everybody’s Fine (2009) is really one of best films of 2009. It is a remake of the Giuseppe Tornatore film “Stanno Tutti Bene”(1990). The critics say that this American version is better than the European original, but we have not seen Tornatore’s movie. The censored version that was showed in state TV, did not have many scenes. The original version of Everybody’s Fine (2009) is 100 min, but what we see in the state TV was near 80 min. Of course the main meaning and main plot/story of the movie did not change. Everybody’s Fine (2009) is a story of a widower, Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) with heart trouble, retired from a factory job, proud of having pushed his adult children toward success. Frank decides to surprise his children with a visit. But None are as he imagines or hopes. Will they let him see themselves as they are, and can this dad adapt? It’s the interesting theme and plot of the movie.

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The story of the movie is really a global story. We have the same story in Iran, too. Frank Goode has a major investment in his children’s success, And his self-conception is riding on it. A key dialogue of Frank Goode:” [showing photos of his children to a stranger] A million feet of wire to get them where they are today” But as a dad he has not listened to his children. Frank’s children live far apart, and he’s always been told by their late mother -the family’s primary communication hub- that Everybody’s fine and they’re doing well : Amy (Kate Beckinsale) is in advertising, Robert (Sam Rockwell) plays in a symphony, Rosie (Drew Barrymore) follows her showbiz dreams as a dancer in a Las Vegas show, and David (Austin Lysy) is making his way as an artist in Manhattan. But when Frank starts showing up unannounced, the kids look a little uncomfortable, and he becomes more aware of their complicated lives. In fact, “Everybody’s Fine,” show us that in a modern family -American family, Iranian family, etc- some adult children misrepresent their lives or hide from their father major life changes such as divorce, childbirth, drug use, etc. A key dialogue between Frank and his daughter: Rosie: We could just talk to mom. Frank Goode: Oh, but you couldn’t just talk to me? Rosie: Well she was a good listener, you were a good talker. Frank Goode: Well so that’s good, we made a good team.

In the last scenes, Frank has a dream of his kids as young children; in the dream, everyone’s sitting at the table outside. Although his kids are all young again, they’re discussing all of their problems as adults. He knows Amy’s husband has left her for another woman. It’s revealed that Jilly’s baby is actually Rosie’s baby. David, Daddy’s favorite, tells his dad that he can’t tell him where he is. The kids and their mother always kept the unpleasant truth from Frank. While Frank thought he was encouraging his kids, they thought he was pressuring them and would be disappointed in how their lives really turned out. Rosie says: “Dad, like Mom, you should always says “Everybody’s fine”, even if they are not”! He ends up having the heart attack while this dream is occurring. Next scene is in the hospital, where he wakes up in bed with Amy, Robert, and Rosie standing around. Frank tells them that he knows something’s wrong with David and asks what’s going on, and all three children start crying. Kirk Jones, the young director of Everybody’s Fine, could have a great future, if he tries to follow his great path in the future. The path that is the path of some great directors like Robert Altman, Anthony Minghella, Roman Polanski, Todd Field, Giuseppe Tornatore, and Robert Benton.

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