If you've been a son or daughter who may not have been too attentive to your parents or if you've been a parent who hasn't always kept in touch with your children, "Everybody's Fine" might not be the film for you. It aims for the heart, but hits you right in the tear ducts.
Robert DeNiro stars as a father who decides to reconnect with his four children. His late wife kept the lines of communication open and now, well, now, he's out of the loop. Without telling them what he's up to, the retired wire manufacturer goes on a trip to visit each of them. Nobody has time for him. Their lives are complicated; the truth is always hidden.
Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and Drew Barrymore play the children. They're fine, but it's De Niro who earns the tears. He's excellent as the dad who just wants a second chance.
Written and directed by Kirk Jones, the film teeters on being depressing but De Niro keeps it afloat. He lets tics and head wags tell what words can't. Look for him to figure into some of the end-of-the-year competitions for Best Actor. He's wonderful. Everybody else is just fine.
On our four-star scale, "Everybody's Fine" gets three stars.