A “mighty fine” mess.
Director Debbie Goodstein‘s Mighty Fine is the melodramatic tale of how a father, although well intended–overstretched his financial capabilities and demeanor to give his family everything he thought they should have to be happy. Unfortunately, the film is short of several “well intended” scenes that would have made this a “mighty fine” film. The semi-autobiographical tale is set in the early 70s where an older Natalie Fine (Jodelle Ferland) narrates the tale about how she, her mother Stella (Andie MacDowell) and sister Maddie (Rainey Qualley), navigated a manic-depressive husband and father (Chazz Palminteri) explosive mood-swings.
Joe Fine (Palminteri) moves his family and textile business from Brooklyn to New Orleans to take advantage of the business incentives the area had to offer. He purchased a 8,000 square foot home and lavished his family with material splendor beyond his means. For awhile, things were going very well. Soon, Joe’s business began to have a few setbacks–the proposed incentives began to dissipate at the same time his relationship with his family and long time business partner Lenny (Arthur J. Nascarella) began to fracture.
This could have been a really good family drama, yet became more of a mix of predictable miscellanies. Suffering from a lack of plot and character development, the film eluded details about what specifically happened with Joe’s failed business deals; MacDowell’s undermining performance as his wife Stella, a Holocaust survivor, were less than memorable. Maddie’s (Qualley), rebellious demeanor seemed forced while Natalie (Ferland), the film narrator and poet–just like the family dog, failed to evoke the emotional “punch” the film so desperately needed. There were several significant directions the story could have gone in order to reveal the film’s more dramatic and important points–but didn’t. This could have been a well to do “coming of age” tale. However, those significant and poignant moments were mostly ignored.
In the end, Mighty Fine, became nothing more than a “mighty fine” mess.
Debbie Goodstein’s Mighty Fine DVD stars Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale), Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day), Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Rainey Qualley in her feature film debut. DVD extras include the DVD and Ultraviolet™ digital copy. Audio commentary with the director. Widescreen presentation, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. English and Spanish subtitles.
Artwork and supplementary materials courtesy of © 2013 Adopt Films. All rights reserved.