Everybody's Fine. Robert De Niro's New Movie
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Frank, the dad: "I don't know what it is with you kids. You always told your mother everything. You never told me anything."
Frank's daughter: "We tell you the good news. We spare you the bad."
Frank's son: "Mom used to say, 'Make your dad proud.' I know you're not proud of me."
Frank, the dad: "As long as you're happy, I'd be proud of you no matter what you did."
Frank's daughter: "Really? Really, dad?"
I got to see the sneak preview of this movie on Thursday night--and I loved it. It was funny, touching, thought-provoking and certainly rang true for me as a daughter and as a parent. My parents heard the good stuff, not the bad, unless I "was up against the wall". As for my kids...well, I can only guess.
Here's the pitch:
Frank Goode's a recent widower and a recent retiree who has worked hard all his life making protective coatings for telephone wires. Why? So his kids would have a chance at successful careers--making a living doing something they love--something that expresses their unique talents. He was their ever-present coach--pushing them to excel. Encouraging their successes--but maybe a tad-too-invested.
And it worked. One's a well-known New York artist. One's a musician and an orchestra conductor. One runs a big Chicago ad agency. One's a successful Las Vegas dancer and actress. Frank's busting with pride.
But, when one by one everyone cancels for a weekend homecoming reunion, Frank decides to crisscross the country to make a surprise visit to each of his children. And that's all I'm going to tell you.
Who is going to "get" this movie?
- If you're a son or a daughter who has ever felt that unspoken (or spoken) pressure to make your parents proud--and didn't quite buy into your parents' idea of "success"--you'll "get" this movie.
- If you're now a parent who only wants the best for your kids--you'll "get" this movie.
- If you're a parent who can't break the worry-habit when it comes to your kids--you'll "get this movie.
- If you're a dad, who leaves the nitty-gritty details of your kids' lives to their mom--you'll "get" this movie.
- If you're programmed to answer, "Everything's fine," when your parents ask you how things are going--you'll "get" this movie.
If you're old enough to know that things never go as planned, and the dreams for ourselves and our children are dreams, not reality--and that grown-up kids--well, they can take care of things just fine for themselves, thank-you very much!--you'll "get" this movie.
Is This Strictly a Chick Flick?
I had two burly guys sitting next to me, and I definitely detected some eye-wiping action. Guys crying? Big plus in my book.
As for my husband, whose tastes lean toward action, adventure & war stories--he loved it! When I asked him if he thought it was a chick flick, he said, "No way! I'd rate it a 10 on a scale of 1-10, and I think this is Oscar material for De Niro."
Hey, we're certainly not film critics. Reuters describes this film as, "Robert De Niro movie a 'Fine" mess". Well, fine for them!
The Best Advice I Ever Got When It Comes to Grown-Up Kids, click here
I Knew That Movie Snacks Were Bad--But This Bad? Glad I Skipped the Free Popcorn!
A medium combo at Regal has 1,610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat. That's roughly the saturated fat of a stick of butter and the calories of two sticks of butter.
Check out the December 2009 cover story in the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Nutrition Action Healthletter. Click here for the complete story. Another reminder to skip the movie snacks. I knew movie popcorn was bad--but this bad? Yikes!
- Regal says that its medium popcorn has 720 calories and that its large has 960. But CSPI's lab tests found that those numbers were understated. Regal’s medium and large sizes each had 1,200 calories and, thanks to being popped in coconut oil, 60 grams of saturated fat. That’s about as many calories as a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza—except the popcorn has three times the saturated fat. Even shared with another person, that size provides nearly an entire day’s worth of the kind of fat that clogs arteries and promotes heart disease. And every tablespoon of "buttery" oil topping adds another 130 calories. Asking for topping is like asking for oil on French fries or potato chips, according to CSPI.
- AMC, the second largest theater chain, also pops in coconut oil but has smaller serving sizes. Its large popcorn has 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat. That's like eating a pound of baby back ribs topped with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs ice cream—except that the popcorn has an additional day’s worth of saturated fat. A medium has 590 calories and 33 grams of saturated fat; and a small has 370 calories and a day’s worth—20 grams—of saturated fat. (Like Regal, AMC reports calorie counts lower than those returned in CSPI's lab tests.)
- Cinemark pops in heart-healthy canola oil. A large has 910 calories with 4 grams of saturated fat; a medium has 760 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat; and a small has 420 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat. Though popping in canola gives this chain’s popcorn far less saturated fat than its competitors, it's almost as high in calories and has the most sodium—about twice as much as Regal or AMC. With 1,500 milligrams of sodium—a day's worth of sodium for most people—a large popcorn without topping from Cinemark will be less likely to clog your arteries but more likely to elevate your blood pressure. And while Cinemark uses a "buttery" oil topping similar to the toppings used at Regal and AMC, at some outlets, particularly in the West, it uses a topping made with real butter. That version has 9 grams—half a day’s worth—of saturated fat per tablespoon.
Eating an 8-ounce bag of Reese's Pieces is like eating a 16-ounce T-bone steak and a buttered baked potato.
From CSPI's December 2009 Nutrition Action Healthletter