Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) has spent his adult life working in a local wire factory earning every dollar he can to support his family. Recently retired, he realizes that over the years he has spent too little time with his four children and that it's time to reconnect.
Frank's late wife was always his main point of contact with his kids but he decides that it's now his responsibility to keep an eye on them. He is inspired to invite the whole extended family for a barbeque weekend. Preparations go well until one by one, such is modern life, they all have good reason to cancel.
Despite a strict warning from his doctor, Frank takes matters into his own hands and packs a bag before setting out on a journey across the US with the intention of surprising each of his children and wallowing in their success and happiness.
Frank travels to see his son David ‘the artist' in New York, his daughter who is ‘high up in advertising' in Chicago, his son Robert ‘the orchestral conductor' in Denver and finally Rosie his youngest who is a ‘dancer in a Vegas show' but before long it becomes clear to Frank that his children are not quite as happy or successful as his wife had always reported.
Returning home from a journey that ends with the revelation of a family tragedy, Frank has the insight and confidence to report to his wife that despite everything "everybody's fine."