Are you ready to see Robert De Niro in full-on old man sad sack mode, a la Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt? No? Consider yourself warned.
In the overly schematic Everybody's Fine, the Raging Bull himself plays lonely widower Frank Goode, who, after his adult children blow him off for the holidays, decides to bring Mohammed to the mountains. One by one, he makes surprise visits to his kids—inquiring about their happiness, expressing concern for their well-being, but discovering that not all is as it seems.
First, Frank visits his n'er-do-well artist son in New York, but his son never returns home. Then he visits his ad exec daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale) who seems to have the model husband and son, until a dinnertime fight exposes some chinks in their perfect façade. Next, he meets with Robert the symphony conductor (Sam Rockwell), who, as it turns out, is not a conductor at all, but a timpanist. (Frank is disappointed by this turn of events, but he shouldn't be—being a professional timpanist is a sweet gig.) Finally, he visits with the carefree Rosie (Drew Barrymore) in Vegas: She seems to have it all—great apartment, great job as a dancer, but, well. . .you get the idea.
Some reviews have applauded De Niro for dialing down the histrionics and keeping it real. But the film doesn't give him much to work with—Nicholson's Schmidt had anger, lust, bitterness, and even a secretly bleeding heart. De Niro's Frank is merely subdued. His performance, like the rest of the film is, well, just fine.