After visiting his physician and being warned about his health,
Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) takes a train to New York, where
he sits on his son David's doorstep. David never shows up,
but Frank sees one of David's paintings in a nearby art gallery
window. He slips an envelope under David's door.
visit is to daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale), who says it's
a bad time to visit. Frank plays a little golf with grandson
Jack, but dinner is uncomfortable with tension between Jack
and his father. The next morning, Frank accompanies Amy
to her fancy office and hears her agency's pitch for a TV
ad. She takes him to the bus station to visit Robert.
travels to each of his children's homes, the film cuts to
phone conversations between the siblings. David is in some
type of trouble in Mexico, and Amy is going there to find
out what is happening; the sisters and Robert (Sam Rockwell)
agree to not tell their father about David until they know
arrives in Denver expecting to see Robert conduct the orchestra.
It turns out Robert is "only" a percussionist.
He also says Frank's visit is at a bad time, so within hours
Frank takes a bus to Las Vegas to visit Rosie (Drew Barrymore).
Frank is adamant that each visit is a surprise, but Robert
calls Rosie to warn her.
is attacked by a mugger who destroys Frank's prescription
pills. Frank manages to escape and scrapes up some of the
crushed pills, but when he calls the doctor back home for
a prescription refill, he doesn't tell the doctor that he
is hundreds of miles from home, traveling against doctor's
advice. He has a dream that his son David is in jail.
in Las Vegas late. Rosie picks him up in a stretch limo
and tells him she was in a big show that just ended the
previous week. She takes him to her fancy apartment, where
her friend brings over a baby for last-minute babysitting.
Frank overhears a message being left on an answering machine,
indicating the apartment is borrowed from Rosie's friend.
He is not comfortable, knowing all his kids are lying to
flies back home but — without his pills — he has a heart
attack in the lavatory. Frank has another dream of his kids
as young children; in the dream, he knows Amy's husband
has left for another woman and Rosie's friend's baby is
really Rosie's baby. The kids and their mother always kept
the unpleasant truth from Frank. While Frank thought he
was encouraging his kids, they thought he was pressuring
them and would be disappointed in how their lives really
turned out. Next scene is in the hospital, where he wakes
up in bed with Amy, Robert, and Rosie standing there. They
tell him David has died.
goes back to New York to buy David's painting but it has
already been sold; the gallery shows him another painting
by David that is more appropriate to him — a landscape showing
PVC-covered power lines made out of glue and macaroni (Frank
made PVC-covered cable for years). He visits his wife's
grave and talks to her. The last scene shows the family
at Christmas. Frank is cooking the turkey and remembers
that he always forgot to tell his wife hers was overcooked.
The film ends with him walking into the dining room, to