MOVIE REVIEW: EVERYBODY’S FINE

What is about dysfunctional families that are so attractive to us?  For me, as I am certain for many of you, it’s because we relate, because we are at times mired in it.  I think most of us are the products of, or participants in, familial dysfunction.  And not that that’s always a bad thing.  It certainly isn’t when it comes to EVERYBODY’S FINE, Kirk Jones’ remake of Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1990 “Stanno Tutti Bene”.  For me, this is one film that resonates so close to home, so much so that my heart aches watching it, but in a good way. You could lift my entire family and insert it in place of the characters in the film.   Thankfully, Kirk Jones didn’t make that fatal mistake but instead called upon the impeccably perfect Robert DeNiro along with Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell to hold up a mirror to each of us and then instill more guilt than a Jewish mother with every adult child out there  (I would say parents will be guilted as well but I don’t think pigs are flying yet.)  The result is a beautiful and touching portrait of a family trying to reconnect physically and emotionally and make “everybody fine.” Continue reading

LAS VEGAS HAS AN ART WALK – TOO

As I rolled down the strip I knew it was going to be an interesting night…I offered Howard a puff on my cigar.

“I wish I could.”

“Sorry Mr. Hughes, I’ve gotten so used to you riding shotgun that sometimes I forget that you’re…well you know…”

“Dead,” he said finishing my thought as he often does. “Don’t feel bad, I had a good run…It’s amazing how this place keeps growing—slow down for a second.”

I tapped the breaks gently. Howard always asks me to slow down when we’re about to pass City Center—it seems to fascinate him for some reason, but he never says why. I was hoping that he might utter something on this occasion, but just as it seemed like it might happen—the phone rang.

“What are you doing?” asked Isaac.

“Cruising the strip with Howard.”

“Listen I’ve been living in this town for a year and still haven’t made it to First Friday, you want to go?” he asked.

“Sure, I’ll pick you up in ten.” I hung up and turned to face the ghost of Howard Hughes. “Sorry Mr. Hughes…”

First Friday is a combo art walk and rave in the Downtown Art District of Las Vegas. And as a Los Angeles Downtownster I know something about art walks, as Downtown LA plays host to the biggest art walk in the country on the second Thursday of every month. When the weather is nice a good Downtown LA Art Walk can attract close to thirty thousand revelers. I had no such expectation of such an event in Las Vegas, but I had heard some good things about the up and coming art scene in Sin City so I was more than up for checking it out…And of course when dating a girl that suffers from Zombism there’s not a whole lot of places you can go out as a couple and fit in.

I picked Isaac up at the swanky Panorama Towers and headed Downtown exiting Charleston and finding a nice dirt lot to park the SL 500 in, just on the other side of Main Street.

“Nice, I just had them shined,” said I, looking down at my dust covered Gucci loafers.

“Car washes and shoe shines don’t last in this town,” commented Isaiah who was wearing tennis shoes—he’s thirty. “What the hell is that noise?” asked my freaked out friend at the slamming sound emanating from the trunk.

“Oh that. Better step back—I brought my girlfriend along.” I approached the back of the car with caution. Continue reading