'Everybody's Fine': movie review

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

De Niro plays a widower trying to reconnect with his children in 'Everybody's Fine,' which stumbles into sentimental territory.

Abbot Genser/AP
In this film publicity image released by Miramax Film Corp., Robert De Niro, left, and Drew Barrymore are shown in a scene from "Everybody's Fine."

Robert De Niro plays an ailing widower who takes it upon himself to visit his far-flung and not terribly cuddly children in this remake of the 1990 Giuseppe Tornatore film that starred Marcello Mastroianni. Since the children are played by Kate Beckinsale (Chicago), Sam Rockwell (Denver) and Drew Barrymore (Las Vegas), the destinations are not without anticipatory interest. But writer-director Kirk Jones never allows us to feel anything for ourselves. He might as well be turning out Hallmark cards. De Niro, trying his ordinary-guy best not to be mannered, gives one of his most mannered performances. Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language.)

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