December 21, 2014

Always Make Time for Loved Ones: Everybody's Fine (2009)

Everybodys fine.jpgWith over 7 billion people on our planet, one thing is for sure: we are meant to be social beings. Sometimes we lose track of that part of our existence, well because we're so busy with our lives and all, but the truth of the matter is that whatever we're doing, it can wait....some of the time. Obviously, our jobs and appointments can't wait, but the other stuff can, like staring at the wall or losing countless hours of watching Netflix.

We have time, but for whatever reason, we don't always use it wisely to connect with those we love and care for. Why? I'm not entirely sure; maybe it has something to do with the fact that interacting with our family and friends can sometimes be taxing on us, particularly when we withhold the truth for fear of upsetting status quo. But, the point is however, that we should always make time for people, because that's one of the reasons we're all here, as social beings, and because it makes us feel better while we're alive when we interact with others. The movie Everybody's Fine (2009) is a great reminder of what can happen when we neglect our social responsibilities, particularly where family is concerned.

In the movie Everybody's Fine (2009), widowed father Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) embarks on a solo trip across the country to visit with his adult children, David (Austin Lysy), Rosie (Drew Barrymore), Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and Robert (Sam Rockwell), when they all don't show up for a scheduled visit. He learns several things including that his children have been withholding information from him for years and that they never felt comfortable talking to him about what was really going on in their lives, like they did with their mother, for fear of his disappointment. Ultimately, he had to stop holding his adult children to nearly impossible standards and embrace them for the individuals that they have become; although, it was too late to tell David he was proud of him, as he had already passed away. 

From the beginning of the movie, when we first learn that Frank's children all cancel their trip to visit him in the family home, we immediately feel sorry for the elderly father. His wife had passed away and he had no one and yet his children didn't want to make any time for him. That is until he forced them to spend a little time with him when showed up unannounced in their respective cities, for an impromptu visit. Even then, Amy, Robert and Rosie still dodged a prolonged visit from their father. Although in their defense, they did so for fear of discussing the unknown whereabouts of their brother David, whom we later learned had died from a drug overdose in Mexico.

In the end, after a heart attack scare, Frank was able to establish new relationship grounds with all three of his remaining children, which included honesty. Amy, Robert and Rosie learned that sheltering the truth from their father was not only causing him to worry but also wasn't what he wanted from his children. He wanted them to "bother" him with their problems as well as share their happier moments, because ultimately, he just wanted to be a part of their lives.

This serious tearjerker is a great reminder to us all to get our priorities back on track, especially during the holidays. Specifically, we all should make the effort to spend time with friends and family, because after all, we are social beings.

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